a benefit for Bennington Area VNA
Mon, Apr 10, 6pm
Bennington, VT
presented by Franklin County Home Health Agency & partners
Tues, Apr 11, 10:30am
St. Albans, VT
brought to you by VNAs of Vermont
Wed, Apr 12, 11:30am
Thurs, Apr 13, 10am
Thurs, Apr 20, 1pm
Montpelier, VT
hosted by NHPCO
Thurs, Apr 13, 2pm
Tues, Apr 18, 11:30am
Montpelier, VT 
Wed, Apr 19, 6pm
Burlington, VT 
brought to you by VNAs of Vermont
Thurs, Apr 20, 12pm
Thurs, May 4, 12pm
Webinar Series 
presented by Brattleboro Area Hospice
Thurs, Apr 27, 2pm
Bellows Falls, VT 
Thurs, Apr 27, 5:30pm
Brattleboro, VT  
Laughter is the Best Medicine!
presented by Franklin County Home Health Agency 
Sat, May 6, 7pm
Enosburg Falls, VT 
Save the date!
Mon, May 22, 8am
Lake Morey, VT 
Who would speak for you if you were unable to speak for yourself? 

I have powerful memories of sitting down with my dad and his wife, my step-mother, going over the advance directive he had completed in advance of a surgery. For that health care episode, he never lost the ability to make his own decisions. But a few years later, he did. As hard as that period was, I was grateful that I knew what mattered to him. My father chose me because he thought I would be able to carry out his wishes, regardless of my own feelings, and he wanted minimal intervention. I chose my husband Tod to make decisions for me.
Next week is National Healthcare Decisions Week. This is a time for Americans to think about and plan for what will happen if they can't make health care decisions themselves because of injury, serious illness or catastrophic event. Because of the importance of this advance care planning and because it can be hard for people to get started, National Healthcare Decisions Day has been expanded to a full week this year, April 16 through 22.
The Vermont Ethics Network suggests a stepwise approach to advance care planning. In celebration of National Healthcare Decisions Week, consider taking these steps and/or helping a loved one to do so:
STEP 1:  Appoint a  Health Care Agent . This is the person you authorize to make decisions about your care if you can't speak for yourself. In Vermont, you can name a health care agent by using this form. You may also know this role as a "durable power of attorney for health care" or "health care proxy".
> Who: Everyone age 18 or older.
STEP 2:  Complete an  Advance Directive  with detailed information about your health care goals and treatment preferences. You can skip this step if you want to leave decisions about your care up to your Health Care Agent, but if you want to be specific about your treatment wishes, you will want to complete an advance directive. Any Advance Directive that is properly signed and witnessed is legal in Vermont-no matter how long or short it is. You can use Vermont's templates or you can use templates from other states or organizations.
> Who: Adults with chronic illness or those seeking to give more specific information about their values and healthcare preferences.
STEP 3:  Consider talking with your clinician about  Medical Orders  to limit the use of aggressive, life-sustaining treatments at the end of life. You may wish to complete the Vermont Department of Health's form that conveys to your clinician your wishes regarding use of CPR, intubation, transfer to the hospital, antibiotics, artificial nutrition and hydration, and your overall treatment goals.
> Who: Individuals who are seriously ill or dying, or who are certain that they would not want life-prolonging interventions.

As we gather with our families and friends for Passover and Easter this week, we can take the opportunity to encourage them to celebrate National Health Care Decisions Week by taking the steps above. You can find resources to help start the conversation at .

Jill Mazza Olson, Executive Director

Legislative leaders are signaling their intention to adjourn the 2017 legislative session by May 6, just a few short weeks away. That gives the Senate about two weeks to deliberate and pass its version of the budget and still leave enough time to come to a final agreement with the House. We expect the Administration to release its official reaction to the House budget early this week. The VNAs of Vermont will be looking closely to see how the Administration responds to the Medicaid rate increase proposal that the House included in its budget. Meanwhile, leaders of several Vermont VNAs traveled to the State House last week to urge key Senators to preserve the increase as they deliberate the budget. The VNAs of Vermont believe that annual inflationary increases are essential to preserving access to cost-effective care for all Vermonters, regardless of their ability to pay.

VNAs of Vermont | 802-229-0579 | |