UPMC St. Margaret’s Director Discusses Aging With Dignity Directives
Rod Rutkowski, UPMC St. Margaret’s manager of social work, recently spoke about the Aging With Dignity advanced directive “Five Wishes” at the North Hills Highlands independent living apartments for seniors age 62 and older.
Landmark Home Healthcare was a sponsor, and Landmark’s Kathleen Frickanish assisted with the presentation attended by residents at North Hills Highlands in Ross Township.
UPMC promotes the use of a document known as “Five Wishes,” developed by Aging with Dignity. Unlike other living wills that address only medical and legal issues, Five Wishes addresses matters such as spiritual needs and comfort.
Aging with Dignity is a national non-profit organization with a mission to affirm and safeguard the human dignity of individuals as they age and to promote better care for those near the end of life. The life and work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta served as the inspirational foundation of Aging with Dignity.
First introduced in 1997, Five Wishes lets families and doctors know:
- Who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them.
- The kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want.
- How comfortable you want to be.
- How you want people to treat you.
- What you want your loved ones to know.
Five wishes has become America’s most popular living will because it is written in everyday language and helps start and structure important conversations about care in times of serious illness.
For more information on Five Wishes, go to www.agewithdignity.org.
North Hills Highlands is an independent senior living facility located on the campus of the John J. Kane Regional Center in Ross Township. Ninety-seven apartments in two facilities are part of the continuum of care which gives Allegheny County residents access to independent living units with supportive services in addition to dementia units, rehabilitation services and skilled nursing at the Kane facilities, with future plans for home-based care and adult daily living services.