Thursday, October 19, 2006
In an effort to help eliminate language barriers to end-of-life decision-making for individuals
within ethnically and culturally diverse communities nationwide, a collaboration of health care organizations including United Health Foundation, Aging with Dignity, the American Hospital Association and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is distributing translated copies of the Five Wishes advance care directive.
Aging with Dignity's Five Wishes has been translated into Chinese (traditional and simplified), Arabic, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Somali, Hmong, Korean, French, Polish, Russian, Vietnamese, Albanian, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Spanish, Japanese, Gujarati and Croatian. Through funding support of the United Health Foundation's Evercare Hospice Foundation, 100,000 language-specific versions will be provided free of charge to individuals and community organizations, and a CD with samples of the document will be sent to hospitals and hospices to assist them in caring for their patients and understanding their wishes.
In addition, the organizations are launching a Five Wishes outreach effort in 38 states. These statewide programs, tailored to the unique needs of each state and its communities, will be launched over the next six months. This outreach is in response to the increasing complexity of end-of-life medical care decisions and the expanding number of people who require assistance in communicating their wishes in languages other than English. In 38 states, Five Wishes is recognized as a standard for assisting individuals and their families to work through their choices for end-of-life care and communicate those choices to caregivers.