The Center for Practical Bioethics CARE program is designed for corporations as a creative benefit to employees as the Baby Boomers age and find themselves caring for both elderly parents and sometimes two other generations of family. This benefit provides an opportunity for their employees to have training in advance care planning as well as access to Center staff for consultation and advocacy when the employee or a loved one experiences advanced illness.
The Center for Practical Bioethics will work with a company or organization’s designated contact person to market this benefit with an incentive to attend an informational session. The Center will provide informational sessions for employees. They will last approximately one hour (we can stay longer to address specific questions people have). They can be ‘lunch and learns’ or any other time of the day you suggest.
The goal of the session will be to introduce the concept of advance care planning, educate employees about research on what people want (and what they actually get instead) at the end of life, why it is critical to name someone to speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself, and how “having the conversation” ahead of the crisis can be of immeasurable value when serious illness happens in your family. We will provide a copy of the Caring Conversations® Workbook to each participant along with strategies for opening this difficult conversation with family members. We will also cover what it means to be named as someone’s durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions (surrogate or agent).
The Center will provide a phone number for employees to make contact with a member of the Center staff who has experience in coaching and advocacy around healthcare decision-making. Our experience of taking calls over a quarter of a century is that people often start with “I don’t know exactly why I am calling you, but I am at my wit’s end and someone said you could help.” Our healthcare ‘system’ is often not very systematic and can be confusing and overwhelming, especially after a prolonged illness where both the patient and the family are exhausted. Callers will receive the attention of our staff member who will listen and respond in strict confidence. We do not contact the physicians or the hospital or anyone else without permission from the caller. Our reports to the employer who provides this benefit about the number and types of calls received do not reveal the identity of the callers. Employees can be confident that they are not talking with their employer or the insurance company when they call the Center. The Center does not provide medical or legal advice, but can be very helpful when advanced illness occurs. The diagnosis and treatment for a serious health condition can be complex, stressful and emotionally devastating. Employers have an opportunity through the Center for Practical Bioethics to provide for their employees an independent source for guidance at this difficult time.
For more information about this program, contact Linda Ward at 816-221-1100.