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Treasure Coast Hospice to Observe National Healthcare Decisions Day 2024

Treasure Coast Hospice

Stuart - Friday March 29, 2024: In observance of National Healthcare Decisions Day on Tuesday, April 16, Treasure Coast Hospice will distribute advance care planning materials at 12 local libraries in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties.

Staff and volunteers will offer information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with loved ones, including Five Wishes, America’s most popular advance directive, at the following library branches from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, Florida 34996

Hobe Sound Public Library 10595 SE Federal Highway, Hobe Sound, Florida 33455

Hoke Library, 1150 NW Jack Williams Way, Jensen Beach, Florida 34957 (12 – 2 pm only)

Peter & Julie Cummings Library, 2551 SW Matheson Avenue, Palm City, Florida 34990

Robert Morgade Library, 5851 SE Community Drive, Stuart, Florida 34997

Okeechobee Public Library, 206 SW 16th Street, Okeechobee, Florida 34974

St. Lucie
The Susan Broom Kilmer Library, 101 Melody Lane, Fort Pierce, Florida 34950

The Zora Neale Hurston Library, 3008 Avenue D, Fort Pierce, Florida 34947

Lakewood Park Library, 7605 Santa Barbara Drive, Fort Pierce, Florida 34951

The Paula A. Lewis Library, 2950 SW Rosser Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, Florida 34953.

The Morningside Library, 2410 SE Morningside Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, Florida 34952

The Port St. Lucie Library, 180 S.W. Prima Vista Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, Florida 34983

Founded in 2008, National Healthcare Decisions Day is observed annually on April 16. Its goal is to increase the number of Americans who have completed an advance directive (“living will”), in which they name the person who will make medical decisions for them in the event they are seriously ill and can’t speak for themselves. Experts say only about 20-30% of Americans have completed an advance directive even though all people age 18 and older should have one.

“It’s understandable that people would put off discussing the topic of serious illness and death, but it’s essential to have this family conversation in advance,” said Treasure Coast Hospice CEO Jackie Kendrick, CHPCA. “Advance care planning empowers individuals to shape their future healthcare decisions, ensuring their wishes are honored with compassion and respect.”

Treasure Coast Hospice staff and volunteers will encourage community members to prepare their advance directives by distributing Five Wishes, America’s most popular advance care planning program at participating area libraries. Five Wishes, a 12-page booklet that helps guide individuals in discussing personal, family and spiritual matters, in addition to medical and legal concerns, is a valuable tool for beginning difficult family discussions. When completed, it meets the legal requirements of 46 states and is useful in those states that still require state forms and mandatory notices. To meet the cultural needs of the community, English, Spanish and French Creole versions of Five Wishes will be available.

Five Wishes deals with the things people say matter most to them,” Five Wishes President Joanne Eason said. “It allows them to clearly state what kind of treatment they want or don’t want so their families aren’t left to guess or second-guess.”

Treasure Coast Hospice is a non-profit community organization of skilled professionals and dedicated volunteers whose mission is to provide access to compassionate, caring, expert and professional hospice and grief support services to patients and families at the end of life. Founded in 1982, Treasure Coast Hospice has grown to serve more than 4,000 patients annually in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties. Thanks to the generous support of our community, the Treasure Coast Hospice Foundation is able to fund comprehensive hospice and grief support programs for Treasure Coast Hospice, including three Inpatient Units for those who need a higher level of care, the specialized pediatric program Little Treasures, music therapy, massage therapy, virtual reality experiences, individual and group bereavement services, and Camp Good Grief for children who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

About Aging with Dignity 
Founded in 1996, Aging with Dignity is a national non-profit organization that seeks to protect the God-given human dignity of the most vulnerable among us. Five Wishes is an advance care planning program created with help from national legal experts, with initial development and distribution funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Treasure Coast Hospice