NCC18 Presenter: Helen Bauer


NCC18 Presenter: Helen Bauer

Join Helen for her session during our Third Annual National Caregiving Conference:

Advance Care Planning on Friday, Nov. 9, at 4 p.m.
In 2017, Helen Bauer was surprised to discover that she had been named as the MPOA for a family friend. This friend had never communicated her healthcare wishes to anyone, so Helen was left to navigate unknown waters without a map. Due to her work in end of life care as a hospice certified RN, she was able to make appropriate care decisions that included electing hospice and signing an Out of Hospice Do Not Resuscitate document. The numerous caregiving decisions were challenging, such as finding a new living environment for a totally dependent person, making funeral arrangements, calculating expenses, managing finances and creditors, and dealing with complicated family dynamics.

In the current healthcare climate that seeks to initiate extreme life-saving measures in every case, it’s more important than ever to discuss advance care plans with the people who are important to you. Advance Care Planning involves making your healthcare wishes known while you’re able to make those decisions, before something occurs that renders you incapable of making your own healthcare choices. This may not seem important until the time comes when it’s too late, and life-altering decisions are now in the hands of someone else.

Advance Care Planning includes:

  • Living Will/Directive to Physician

  • DNR (Do Not Resuscitate)

  • POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)

  • 5 Wishes

  • MPOA (Medical Power of Attorney)

  • Dementia-specific directives

  • Durable Power of Attorney

  • Funeral planning/wishes

  • Estate planning

  • Caregiving conversations

  • Storage and retrieval of documents

Consequences of the lack of Advance Care Planning can impact the life of caregivers, depleting health, energy, and finances. The benefits of Advance Care Planning are innumerable, and relieve so much of the caregiving burden.

Helen has been an RN for over 25 years, and a hospice RN for over 8 years. She holds the distinction of being a Certified Hospice & Palliative Care Nurse. In 2017 she unexpectedly became a personal caregiver & MPOA for a family friend. This experience increased her understanding of the role of the personal caregiver, including the importance of advance care planning, and strengthened her desire to encourage healthy self care for caregivers. In the past 1 ½ years, Helen helped launch The Heart of Hospice project, providing education about end of life issues, caregiving, and self care. She writes the blog for The Heart of Hospice website, and co-hosts the weekly and monthly podcasts. Helen has served as a hospice case manager, providing education for patients and caregivers, and a director of nursing, providing hospice professionals with tools and training to improve the quality of care for their patients. She is a current member of the education committee of the Texas New Mexico Hospice Organization, and has been a presenter at their annual conference for the past 2 years.

To learn more about Helen, watch our video discussion about finding our best, which aired as part for our Virtual Caregiving Summit in May.

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We are so grateful to the following sponsors for making our conference possible:

~ AARP ~

~ Seniors BlueBook ~ Seniorlink ~ Henry Ford Health System CARE Program ~

~ Society of Certified Senior Advisors ~ Mindlight ~