Health forum focuses on end of life options

Anyone who has ever thought about what kind of care they want, need or have available as they approach the end of life, may find the answers at a forum entitled, “Care on Your Terms Matters.” The forum, sponsored by Unity Family Home Care and St. Gabriel’s Hospital, will be held Thursday, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. in the Don Bargen Community Room at the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls.

The forum, which is free and open to the public, features Lisa Germscheid, MD, a family practice physician for Family Medical Center in Little Falls and medical director for Unity Family Hospice; Laura Scherer, RN, PHN, director of Unity Family Home Care and Hospice, a department of St. Gabriel’s Hospital; and Renee Oothoudt, a bereaved family member and Little Falls resident.

The panel discussion, which will be moderated by Pat Rioux, manager of communications at the hospital, will focus on topics related to having a conversation with one’s provider and loved ones about advanced care planning.

Panelists will discuss the full range of end-of-life care options and the importance of communicating one’s preferences. The forum will also offer practical, specific advice on how to navigate the health care system when seeking care and help at the end of life. Questions will also be taken from the audience.

In addition to the panel discussion, there will be refreshments, prize drawings and, for those interested, two nursing contact hours for continuing education. There is no cost for the nursing education hours.

For more information, contact Pat Rioux at St. Gabriel’s Hospital, (320) 631-5608, or Laura Scherer at Unity Family Home Care and Hospice, (320) 631-5575.