‘Five Wishes’ preserves dignity and respect in care planning


Thinking ahead is always important. Whether you’re hosting a party, making a kit for a natural disaster, or grocery shopping, planning is essential to feeling thoroughly prepared. Even though we hope for the best, it makes sense to plan for the worst. 

Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources, in collaboration with Fir Lane Memorial Park, is hosting free presentations of “Five Wishes,” the advance care planning program that is quickly becoming America’s most popular living will. “Five Wishes,” is changing the way we talk about and plan for care at the end of life. This easy-to-use legal advance directive document is written in everyday language to help all adults, regardless of age or health, consider and record how they want to be cared for at the end of life. 

The “Five Wishes” presentations will explore wishes surrounding personal, medical, emotional, familial and spiritual concerns. Sessions will be held three times in February:

  • Feb. 24 – Noon at the Pierce County Annex, Main Meeting Room, 2401 S. 35th, Tacoma
  • Feb. 24 – 6:30 p.m. at the Graham Branch Library, 9202 224th St. E., Graham
  • Feb. 26 – 6:30 p.m. at Fir Lane Memorial Park, 924 176th St. E., Spanaway 

“Five Wishes” helps people express their choices in areas that matter most, describes what good care means and whether someone is seriously ill or not. This document tells family members and caregivers exactly what you want, and it meets the legal requirements in most states, including Washington. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the “Five Wishes” book as well as valuable supplementary materials. 

“We go to the doctor when we have a problem,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “With “Five Wishes,” we focus on our needs before the problem arises. During a crisis or when we are unable to speak is not the time to decide how someone wants to be treated – both short and long-term. This program is one of the best at helping us think through some very serious concerns.” 

Anyone of any age can attend. No RSVP is required. For more information about the presentations, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or 1 (800) 562-0332. In case of inclement weather, call (253) 798-8787 for possible postponement or cancellation.

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