On April 22 and 29, free education sessions will be held to provide information on levels of care available in Clatsop County, how to determine what level of care is best for you, funding for levels of care such as Medicare and Medicaid, how to apply for financial and resource assistance through the state of Oregon, and how to instruct others about your decisions about your health through an Advanced Directive to Physicians.

The sessions are at Columbia Memorial Hospital on April 22 and Providence-Seaside Hospital on April 29. They will be 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. both days.

"Caring for Ourselves: Answers on Aging" started as a concern by a group of parishioners at Grace Episcopal Church in Astoria led by Elaine Lumbra. There was a lack of information about options and choices for people as their lives change because of illness, injury, or aging, those attending discovered. The group sought a clearinghouse of consolidated information.

Thanks to the assistance of Jill Thurston, Administrator at Neawanna By the Sea and Brenda Penner, RN, Manager of Home Health and Hospice at Columbia Memorial Hospital a plan to provide such education was born.

A panel discussion will help attendees answer frequently asked questions.

• When should I move to a facility with more services?

• When am I no longer safe to live by myself?

• How do I tell my doctor and family I do not want heroic life saving measures?

• How do I find a caregiver? What do I do if I don't have much money?

Panel members will include the manager from Columbia Memorial Hospital's Home Health and Hospice program, the administrator from Neawanna By the Sea assisted living facility, a caseworker from the state of Oregon's Senior and Persons with Disabilities office, the administrator of Clatsop Care Center, and a staff member from Providence Seaside Hospital. Written material will also be available.

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