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Our wellness seminar series will be held on Tuesday, May 14th from 6:30-8:30pm.  The series aims to address challenging issues that accompany serious illness and aging that we all face.  The seminar will involve 4 half-hour sessions. The topics and speakers follow. 

Navigating Senior Living Options: (6:30 – 7)

Mary Nelson, BPHE, CDP

The need for senior living can be unexpected and sudden due to medical emergencies or the realization that living at home is no longer safe. – When is it time to make a move to a higher level of care? How will I know what level of care is needed?  This session will help you understand options and different levels of care so you will be better educated and prepared for the future. Mary has over 30 years of experience in healthcare, and works with Brookdale Williamsville, Assisted Living, Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care

It is not too early to learn about your options!

Healthcare Decision-making, Advance Care Planning  (7-7:30)

Deborah Waldrop, LMSW, PhD, Professor Emerita, UB School of Social Work

This session will focus on the documents (e.g. NYS Healthcare Proxy, NYS Living Will, MOLST, Five Wishes) that are available to assist as we make decisions about the healthcare we want and do not want when we are unable to speak for ourselves because of illness.   Deborah spent 20 years as a hospital social worker serving people who were facing difficult decisions and 23 years as a professor and researcher with a focus on healthcare decision making.

Hospice Care: When, Where, How? (7:30-8)

Susan Gibbons, RN, CHPN, Parish Nurse, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

This session will address what hospice and palliative care are and are not, which option is right for people with serious illnesses, when a referral is helpful, and how to have a conversation about this transition.  Sue Gibbons is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse. She has 10 years of experience helping people with serious illness and their families through challenging transitions.

Planning Your Funeral (8-8:30)

Reverand Ashlin Marchese, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

As loved ones plan funerals for those whom they cared for most there is inevitably stress placed upon their shoulders. This session will offer grace and peace to those loved ones left to plan our funerals. Giving this peace to those we leave behind will help them know how we want to be remembered and offer more time for remembering. Pastor Marchese was ordained in 2019 and joined St. Paul’s in 2022. She is a candidate for the Doctorate in Ministry at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.

Registration for the event is required so that we can provide materials for all participants.  To register, click the link below to go to Eventbrite or call the church office at 716-634-2330.