January 2014 — Be@Ease Presented on The Conversation Project’s Community Call

Be@Ease was a featured presentation on The Conversation Project’s (TCP) Community Call in December 2013. This was the third such call hosted by TCP in conjunction with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) as a way to bring organizations engaged in end-of-life issues to share ideas, experiences and strategies for building grassroots awareness and action around the issue of advance directives.

Presenting for Be@Ease was Syl Boeder, Director of Community Outreach; Laurie Kennedy, Project Manager, Marketing Deliverables and Budget; Rachel Cook, Outreach Volunteer; and Ellen Weiss, parishioner of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and coordinator of the parish’s internal drive. Also present for the presentation was Bob Lee, whose Ride for 3 Reasons provided funding for the development of this community-based program; and Sarah Bealles, President and CEO of JourneyCare, one of the local partners and fiscal agent for Be@Ease.

The presenters highlighted strategic decisions in developing the program including the involvement of a broad base of community partners, positioning the program to appeal to multiple generations and to present it as one of the planning responsibilities every adult should undertake for themselves.

Below is a link to a pdf of the sides used in our presentation. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more or having us provide a similar presentation to your community or organization.

Be-At-Ease slides for TCP Call – edited 12-16-13 – FINAL

December 19, 2013 ‘Tis the Season for Giving the Gift…

We kicked off the season of gathering and giving with the celebration of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. The season of celebrations continues with Christmas and will round out with New Year’s. This time of year marks a month-long opportunity to give the greatest gift to yourself AND your loved ones. The Gift of “peace of mind” . Get started by downloading your free copy of Five Wishes today!

December 2, 2013 Be@Ease Spreads the Holiday Message through School District PTOs

Be@Ease staff presented to the Barrington High School PTO on December 2. Thanks to PTO President, Claire Hamilton for making time for this important topic. PTO members were urged to seize the opportunity presented by holiday gatherings to talk about, document and share their advance care plans with loved ones. They were also encouraged to access additional copies of Five Wishes online to give to relatives, and have them begin the process of documenting their wishes. Claire commented that “I have had the document for a couple of months, but walking through the document today made me realize the importance of doing this NOW. Thank you.”

November 13, 2013 Dr. Bruce Carlson Speaks at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Medical Staff Semi-Annual Dinner

Dr. Bruce Carlson presented the Be@Ease program during the semi-annual Medical Staff dinner at  the Biltmore Country Club on November 13, 2013.  Physician members were supportive of the program.  Members stated that having advance directives already part of the record brings clarity when time is critical to patient care.

November 10, 2013 St. Michael’s Episcopal Church Launches Internal Drive for Be@Ease

St. 1110131023aMichael’s Episcopal Church of Barrington devoted the adult education portion of the November 10th Sunday services to spreading the word about Be@Ease. Rev. Patrick Raymond introduced long-time church member Ellen Weiss who reviewed the  5 Wishes document with attendees. 

 Ms. Weiss comes with a wealth of experience in the area of advance directives, having been a volunteer at Rainbow Hospice for many years and having had 5 Wishes documents to guide her family through the deaths of both parents in recent years. In addition, because of her profession in financial management, she has been called to the hospital by family’s of clients seeking information about a member’s wishes because they had not had the important conversations and there was no documentation of their wishes for their care.

 The difference between a “good death” and a “bad death” is planning, preparation, and communication. She urged members of the congregation to use the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas to “Think about it, document their wishes, and share the gift of  5 Wishes with their families.”

November 4, 2013 — Be@Ease was invited to exhibit at JourneyCare’s Fall Symposium — Giving and Getting the Best Possible Care through the End of Life

Ira Byock, MD, one of the nation’s foremost palliative care physicians, was the keynote speaker at the JourneyCare Fall Symposium, an event sponsored by the Duchossois Family Foundation. Dr, Byock addressed an audience in excess of 300 palliative, hospice, and long term care specialists from a 10 county area in the Chicagoland area.

 Be@Ease was honored to be asked to exhibit at the symposium, providing attendees with information about the community initiative to encourage people to think about, write down, and share their wishes for care if they are injured or ill and no longer able to speak for themselves. 

 Dr. Byock indicated that advance directives are important because they allow family, caregivers and medical staff to provide the best possible care according to one’s wishes. Having a document and sharing it with others helps to articulate ones values, preferences and priorities.  The document serves as a communication tool to assert the kind of care desired; and a counseling tool to support and guide the family, thus lifting the burden of decisions from them.

 Dr. Byock noted that in his practice, every patient is guided through completing their advance directives. In order to break down the barriers to starting the discussion, he starts with two simple statements: “We do this for everyone”, and “I have an advance directive for myself because it is a part of taking care of me and my family”.

November 3, 2013 Tell Me a Story of Living Well and Dying Well – Barrington Faith Communities Kick-off Be@Ease Congregation Drives

Rev. Zina Jacque, PhD

Rev. Zina Jacque, PhD

Against the backdrop of celebrating All Saints ~ All Souls Day the Reverend Zina Jacques, PhD, presiding pastor of the Community Church of Barrington, kicked off the Barrington faith community’s Be@Ease internal drive on Sunday, November 3. Rev. Zina’s moving sermon was entitled “Tell Me a Story of Living and Dying Well”. She tied John’s gospel of preparing for entry to Christ’s house-with-many-rooms, to serving each other with love and kindness. Part of every Christian’s responsibility to live and die well is to provide loved ones with a plan for the end of life. To this end the Community Church’s campaign will include a series of congregational coffees where church members will be able to come together to discuss and complete the Five Wishes document. Thank you to the Barrington Community Church for their warm and enthusiastic embrace of this program.

November 2013 – Be@Ease story in Quintessential Barrington Nov/Dec 2013 Issue

The story of JourneyCare’s internal drive with Be@Ease is shared in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of Quintessential Barrington.  Read all about it here.  Thank you QB!   http://www.qbarrington.com/pdf/nd13-teaching-moments.pdf

October 21, 2013 BMO Harris Bank Personal Bankers, Trust Officers and Financial Planners hear about Be@Ease

Syl Boeder provided an in-service educational presentation for Personal Bankers, Trust Officers and Financial Planners of BMO Harris Bank. Attendees were provided with an overview of Be@Ease Barrington, a campaign to encourage people to think about, document and share their advance care plans. Syl emphasized that planning for ones’ health care decisions should be a part of what every healthy adult and family does as part of their planning for the future – especially for the unexpected, and not something that is only done as health deteriorates or death nears. Helping clients see the importance of identifying their healthcare agent and being specific as to the extent of health care they want if they cannot speak for themselves was seen as a natural extension of the financial planning they already do with bank clients. Audience members were also briefed on the Five Wishes document and the many other resources available through the Be@Ease website.

October 2013 — Grey Foxes Host Be@Ease Coffee and Conversation

wordpresssuxThanks to Stan Stack for hosting a Be@Ease Coffee and Conversation with the Grey Foxes of the Fox Point subdivision in Barrington. Twenty-five members and their wives heard a Be@Ease presentation from Syl Boeder and Bob Lee. In response to the discussion, Stan wrote, “Planning for the unexpected is something we all need to do. Your guide for Five Wishes and explaining your experiences over the years certainly was helpful to us all. Filling out the booklet and then distributing copies to our children and care providers is the next step we all need to do. Thank you.”