FARMINGTON – The Old South Congregational Church is hosting a four-week educational series on end-of-life issues at 6:30 p.m. beginning Sunday, Jan. 30, at the church.

The program, presented by area members of the Western Maine Palliative Care and Hospice Coalition, is designed to introduce participants to various issues in end-of-life care and to facilitate discussion on the topic.

Dr. Cameron Bopp, hospice physician and coalition chairman, will present the first session, “Dying Well: Making Choices.” Bopp will discuss hospice and palliative care as options in end-of-life care.

The second program in the series, Feb. 6, is titled “Honoring Well: Bereavement and Remembrance.” The session, presented by Rhonda Wiles, funeral director and bereavement specialist, will focus on the process of bereavement and ways to honor the memories of loved ones to facilitate healing.

The third program on Feb 13 will be a reflection and discussion led by the Rev. Richard Waddell, hospice chaplain, titled, “All Shall be Well: a Christian Perspective on Death and Dying.”

The final program, to be held on Feb. 20, is “Planning Well: Advance Directives.” Ed David, attorney-at-law, will discuss the importance of completing the document that provides specific instructions for medical care in the event of a terminal illness, accident or other life-threatening event.

Advance medical directive forms will be available free for participants who desire them. Participants are encouraged to bring family members to assist them in understanding the directive.

Although plans have not been finalized, it is anticipated that hospice coalition affiliates will be available to assist participants complete the directive, either by appointment or after the session.

The series is part of a continuing effort by the Western Maine Palliative Care and Hospice Coalition to encourage quality end-of-life care for area residents. Coalition members include representatives from several area health care organizations, including Franklin Memorial Hospital, nonprofit organizations, the University of Maine at Farmington, as well as clergy, physicians, a local attorney and other professionals and interested individuals.

The mission of the coalition is to improve the system of care at the end of life in the community through research, education and networking to promote the best quality of life for dying patients and their families.

The series is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information on the series or to learn more about the coalition, people can contact Corey Walmer at 778-5752.

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