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State Ombudsman Tells Local Seniors to Use 'Five Wishes'

Also outlines office's programs to help older residents during visit to Warrenbrook Senior Center.

On Monday, James W. McCracken, the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman, came to the Warrenbrook Senior Center and discussed a wide variety of topics that affect the senior population. 

He covered the signs of elder abuse, offered resources for combating elder abuse, advance care planning for seniors and the availability of home and community based services for frail elderly individuals. 

McCracken emphasized the importance of empowering seniors to advocate for support and services that will meet their individual needs.

One statement that he repeated several times is that he does not want his office to be a secret—he wants every one to know about his office and what they do.  

Three highlighted areas that interested the members were:

  • Choose Home - A program that may help you move back into the community with free or low-cost services in your home.
  • Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) - POLST can help you make meaningful personal choices regarding your care – and ensure that every member of the healthcare teams understands and respects those choices.  The POLST form –on green paper – will travel with you and must be honored in all healthcare setting. 
  • Five Wishes – A Five Wishes document gives you a way to control something very important – how you are treated if you get seriously ill. It is an easy to complete form that lets you say exactly what you want.  Once it is filled out and properly signed it is valid under the law of most states.

Submitted by Gwen Chalker

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