Co-founder of Y Collaborative, Nancy is a Certified Senior Advisor and trained Hospice Volunteer. With deep knowledge & sensitivity, Nancy helps individuals, families and organizations by providing valuable resources and facilitating necessary conversations surrounding end of life issues. Visit Y Collaborative to learn more about how Nancy and Y Collaborative can assist you.
Passare Expert Series | Nancy Rust
Welcome to Part 3 of the Passare Expert Series, a forum to provide our experts an opportunity to speak directly to you. Today we’re introducing Passare Expert Contributor Nancy Rust, co-founder of Y Collaborative, a consulting service that helps people learn about, plan for and reduce stress surrounding End of Life matters. Nancy is also a Certified Senior Advisor and Hospice volunteer who provides families and organizations with valuable End of Life resources, including Y Collaborative’s Workbook: Put Life in Order. Put Worry Away.
Passare: Welcome Nancy. Thank you for being a Passare contributing partner. Please tell us how you became involved in End of Life planning and consulting.
Nancy: I became passionate about End of Life planning after two friends became ill at about the same time with cancer. Each took a different approach to manage her respective diagnosis.
One prepared well for her inevitable End of Life. She educated herself and made decisions with her loved ones. She put her life’s matters in order and her preferences in writing. She passed away peacefully at home with family around her.
The other remained in denial during her illness. Although an astute business executive, she didn’t communicate with loved ones about her End of Life. She passed away in pain at a hospital without her final matters in order.
Their different approaches made it clear to me that planning, education, documentation and communication greatly impact a person’s End of Life experience.
End- of- Life conversations don’t have to be painful or time-consuming, but it can change so much about how you live and enjoy your last days.
Passare: Why is planning for healthcare crises important if we aren’t ill or elderly today?
Nancy: Crises and accidents happen every day, but never to us. There’s no way around the emotions you will have when it happens to you or a loved one. Planning ahead, talking with those you love, making decisions and putting them in writing needn’t be overwhelming or time-consuming! It helps avoid stressful dynamics that occur when no plan is in place. Family, social services or courts then must guess, or worse, argue about what to do. No one wants to leave his or her family at odds over End of Life decisions, especially when it’s so easily avoidable.
Passare: What steps can you take to plan ahead for End of Life?
Nancy: It’s important to plan early while you’re healthy and can think clearly. I recommend these steps to help best manage End of Life:
- Plan early – talk to yourself first to determine what you want and what you don’t want at your End of Life.
- Choose your team – determine who will carry out your wishes and make decisions for you if you are unable.
- If you have a young family, decide how their care will be handled.
- Document your decisions in an Advance Healthcare Directive (AHD) – examples are in our Put Life in Order. Put Worry Away workbook.
- Finally, enjoy your life to the fullest.
Passare: Can you describe the main reasons people consult you on End of Life Management issues?
Nancy: People often come to us in crisis and have made no decisions or plans about End of Life. They are overwhelmed.
We suggest that they first speak with loved ones about their circumstances. We then help them build a support network that typically includes these team members:
- Attorney – to manage legal documents
- Financial advisor – to organize assets and manage expenses and debt
- Real estate agent – to manage home and property
- Healthcare Proxy – to make healthcare decisions if a person is unable to
- Friends and Neighbors – to manage mail, pay bills, care for children or property, make contacts or manage other personal matters
- Other support resources – may include an Executor, Power of Attorney or Financial Power of Attorney
Another example involves adult children caring for elderly parents. They are aware of their parents’ decline yet are unprepared to cope. We help them develop a plan to manage their parent’s End of Life matters.
Passare: How do you think Passare can help people manage End of Life issues?
Nancy: Passare provides an easy, universal way to prepare for, learn and communicate about End of Life management. By providing trusted resources online, Passare helps people to gain confidence about End of Life Management from the comfort of their homes, 24/7.
Passare: Thank you Nancy. We appreciate your expertise and look forward to learning more about your perspectives on End of Life planning.
We are thrilled to announce that we’ve truly Advance Directive, DNR, Texas Workbook, Organ Donation, Last Wishes, Funeral Instructions, Obituary made it easy for you to put life in order and put worry away with the publication of the Texas edition of our new workbook. The workbook is now available for sale on our website and will provide one easy location where you can write down all the information you want your family, friends or doctors to have should you be involved in an accident or unable to speak for yourself.