According to a survey by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI), 38 percent of adult New Jersey residents have not had conversations about advance care planning. In response to this community need, the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) has partnered with NJHCQI to host a program series to focus on advanced care planning and end-of-life care wishes, spanning October through December.
As part of the Mayors Wellness Campaign the series, Conversation of Your Life (COYL), will provide pertinent information that will aide County residents in communicating their needs and wants to loved ones as their lives progress.
“SCLSNJ aims to help you get started thinking and talking about the future,” said Marcela Dunham, SCLSNJ’s system programming coordinator. “We have engaged a group of experts to help us navigate the somewhat difficult topics related to end-of-life wishes from different angles, including information about little known environmentally friendly burials, how to celebrate your life’s milestones and accomplishments by writing your own obituary, and much more. Advance planning will not only afford you greater peace of mind, but family members will also benefit by not having to make difficult decisions on your behalf in moments of greater stress.”
Starting the Conversation
October 6, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Warren Twp. Library branch, located at 42 Mountain Boulevard in Warren Twp.
Author Tracey Lawrence will talk about the importance of advance care planning, having legal documents in place, and how to get the conversation about end-of-life care wishes started. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/897377.
What is Advance Care Planning? Why is It Important?
October 13, 2-4 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Hillsborough Library branch, located at 379 South Branch Road in Hillsborough
This panel discussion will feature local experts discussing legal, medical, ethical, emotional, practical, and spiritual aspects of important conversations around death and dying. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/904073.
Celebrate Your Life Story: How to Write Your Own Obituary
October 27, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
SCLSNJ’s Warren Twp. Library branch, located at 42 Mountain Boulevard in Warren Twp.
Learn to write your own obituary with writing coach Vanessa Young. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/909494.
Book Discussion: “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi
November 8, 1-2 p.m. and November 15, 7:15-8:30 p.m.
SCLSNJ’s North Plainfield Memorial Library branch, located at 6 Rockview Avenue in North Plainfield
Dr. Kalanithi chronicles his experiences as a doctor and a patient facing a terminal illness in his memoir. No registration required. Learn more: sclsnj.libnet.info/somerset/event/823364.
Prepare to Care: What to Expect as Your Loved Ones Age
November 14, 7-8 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Hillsborough Library branch, located at 379 South Branch Road in Hillsborough
Adult children will discover what to expect as parents age, how to prepare for caregiving, and the resources that can help. Presented by Trudy Madden, elder care support coach. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/905267.
Planning to Live: How to Get All Your Legal Ducks in a Row
November 17, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library branch, located at 64 Washington Street in Rocky Hill
Elder law attorney Victor Medina will discuss how to get the legal planning you need for the rest of your life’s journey. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/901264.
Everything you Wanted to Know About Funerals: But Were Afraid to Ask
December 1, 2-3:30 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch, located at 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater
Learn about green burials, funerals on a budget, making funeral arrangements online, preplanning, and funding options with Scott Bradley and Ron Mowad. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/132304.
The Five Wishes
December 8, 2-3:30 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch, located at 100 South 10th Avenue in Manville
Mary Anne Serra, director of parish nursing for the Diocese of Camden, will explore the Five Wishes, a living will that addresses personal, emotional, and spiritual needs as well as medical wishes. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/907302.
Registration is required to attend most programs. To learn more visit SCLSNJ.org.