BENNINGTON-No one really knows when they will die. Most people expect death is years away, but there is no way to know for sure. That's what it's never too early to begin a conversation about the type of care and treatment each person wants to have at the end of life.
On May 6, the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of SVHC will host a public discussion from 4 to 5 p.m. at Second Congregational Church on Hillside Street. The discussion is designed to help people begin to have the conversation about end-of-life-care. Dr. Allen Hutcheson and Elizabeth Fredland, a local primary care physician and medical director of the hospice program and a licensed social worker with hospice, respectively, will lead the talk.
Hutcheson and Fredland will lead participants through preparing for the end of life in a non-confrontational style that engages the audience. The program also comes with an easy-to-understand booklet to help participants guide their own discussions at home.
"We prepare for everything in life. The birth of a child, college, marriage, retirement, our work life, even vacations," Fredland explained. "We rarely take the time to talk with our families and friends about the types of care we want at the end of life. These conversations are difficult, but extremely important."
The discussion is part of a public education initiative by Vermont's non-profit VNA, home health, and hospice agencies and the Vermont Ethics Network.
The VNA & Hospice of Southwestern Vermont Health Care provides skilled nursing and rehabilitation in patients' homes throughout Bennington County. The VNA & Hospice of SVHC is part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), an integrated health system serving Bennington and Windham Counties in Vermont and nearby communities in New York and Massachusetts. In addition to the VNA & Hospice of SVHC, the health system also includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, the SVHC Foundation, and the SVMC Northshire and Deerfield Valley campuses. It also includes Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians, a multispecialty medical group operated in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock.