Advance Care Planning Outside the Hospital Walls

The Problem:

Estimates indicate that less than 30% of the population has an advance directive, such as a healthcare power of attorney or living will, which guides decisions about healthcare if a person is unable to make their wishes known.

The Goal:

MUSC has taken a multifaceted approach to spreading awareness and participation in advance care planning in recent years, and part of doing so is reaching outside the hospital walls and engaging with the community. In addition to promoting Advance Care Planning to community groups or at health fairs, they also participate in an annual arts-oriented, intergenerational community festival that explores living fully until the end. 

Method & Implementation:

MUSC joined with other community stakeholders under the guidance of Bridges for End-of-life to launch “What Matters Most: An Inter-Generational Festival Exploring the Art of Living Fully to the End” as part of their celebration of National and South Carolina Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16th , which is a time for celebrating the importance of advance care planning.

Designed to appeal broadly across the community and touch people who might not otherwise engage in this conversation, the festival features music and speakers as well as interactive crafts, games and activities for all ages. Food trucks, pet therapy dogs, and free ice cream all provide ample appeal, as does the location at the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. 

Results:

The festival draws hundreds each year and presents an exciting new way of thinking about Healthcare Decisions Week and hospital-facilitated spaces for having these important conversations.  

For more information about this story or to tell us about your own best practices, email us at stories@scha.org.

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