End-of-life workshop to be held at First Church in Marlborough

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Marlborough – The First Church in Marlborough, 37 High St., will hold an end-of-life care workshop Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Parish Hall. The “Five Wishes Workshop” will teach steps to ensure you and your loved ones have the type of end-of-life care you want and deserve. Attendees will have an opportunity to work through challenging topics such as selecting medical treatment options, choosing a medical proxy, describing palliative care preferences, capturing what you want your loved ones to know, and clarifying how you want to be comforted in a safe and supportive environment.

“When we think about end of life, one of our greatest hopes is to do what we can do so that we don’t unnecessarily burden our loved ones,” said Russ Goliger, Master of Divinity student at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and host of the workshop. “We don’t discuss our final wishes because death is an unpleasant topic and many people just don’t have the words to use. However, using simple tools … makes the difficulty of putting our wishes into words as easy as checking a box, crossing out a sentence and adding a few words. Once your wishes are written down, it is much easier to have that difficult conversation.”

The workshop utilizes the “Five Wishes Workbook” that, once it is completed, signed and witnessed, it becomes a legal Advance Directive recognized in Massachusetts.

Rev. Donna Vuilleumier, a frequent speaker on the spiritual aspects of choosing Advance Directives, will be the guest speaker. Currently writing “A Valued Conversation: a resource for exploring and choosing one’s end-of-life care wishes,” she is also a spiritual counselor at Gentiva Hospice, providing support, education and spiritual care for patients and their families. She supports the community/educational aspects of hospice and is the author of “Never Forgotten: The Comfort of Spirituality in Dementia.”

This workshop is especially helpful to children of aging parents, those interested in creating an Advance Directive, and those who want to learn more about end-of-life choices. All are welcome.