The Mission of Unlimited Grace, LLC and the Graceful Conversations Program

My Story, my mission, my purpose

Hi, I’m Nancy True and here is the short version of how I came to create my Graceful Conversations Program.

I’ve been a Clinical Chaplain in healthcare, (both in the hospital and home hospice care settings) for over 14 years. In that time, I’ve spent thousands of hours with patients, their families and friends listening to their struggle with making end of life decisions during a time of crisis or at the end of life.  These struggle were influenced by uncertainty, fear, and lack of preparation.  When I began to work with individuals and their families, I found that many people were not aware of their own power and authority to participate in their own medical decision-making process. I began by meeting with people in the community to learn more about their awareness and experience of how they made medical decisions when receiving healthcare treatments and care. I found that they were literally not making decisions; they were grasping for any option presented to them that would take away their own or their loved one’s anxiety, pain, or suffering. They were overwhelmed with uncomfortable feelings when asked to make decisions about the medical choices they were facing during a health crisis or injury.  I decided that Advance Care Planning needed to include a different orientation for medical decision-making throughout the life span of each adult.

Knowing that much of this emotional turmoil can be avoided, I designed a program to help people prepare for medical decision-making that starts with developing a communication tool for you and your doctor to follow now; and not projecting into an unknown future at the end of your life.  It’s time to focus on life decisions, and how your healthcare services can support you in living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Advance Care Planning, Advance Directives and the Medical Decision-making Process

  • Every adult, age 18 and older had the right and the responsibility to engage in their own decision-making process for understanding medical choices that are right for them
  • Currently, when a person is hospitalized, at the time of admission, a YES or NO question is asked; “Do you have an Advance Directive?” Many adults do not know how to answer to this question
  • As our American population ages, many older adults are staying healthy and living longer lives with ongoing medical care that helps them deal with personal health issues, this is “individualized healthcare”
  • very few people are given an opportunity to have a positive experience with preparing for healthcare services from a wellness perspective

These are some of the areas of education and consultation addressed in the Graceful Conversations Program.

Conversations Focused on the Present

Graceful Conversations is a one-to-one private and confidential educational program that allows a person, during a time of calm reflection, to consider their values, preferences, and wishes when they need healthcare treatments and services. This program does not project into the future, asking questions about “what if.”  Graceful Conversations asks,

  • “Who are you now?”
  • “What are your beliefs and values?”
  • “What is most important about your life that you want others to know about you today?”
  • “What style of communication makes you comfortable?”
  • “What are your life goals as your prepare for healthcare services when you need them?”
  • “How do you want to be treated when you come into healthcare for services?”

Graceful Conversations is designed to:

  • meets the person where they are right now in their lives,
  • focus on preparing for healthcare services
  • help the person consider their past and present life experiences with awareness of their personal and family history,
  • help identify their communication styles,  and daily decision-making process,
  • place a greater emphasize on what matters to them as individuals
  • empower personal medical decision-making

Family members can also be included in this conversation as oftentimes, individuals don’t make decisions solely on their own, and they want to have the support of the people who care about them. Yet, families and friends need to understand that each person has a right to speak for themselves and engage in their medical choices empowered by this process of conversation for medical decision-making.

Personalized Medical Statement of Preferences

Once a person has engaged in the Graceful Conversation, they will have the tools and the understanding to continue this valuable conversation with whomever they choose to share their medical preferences with in their future. The Graceful Conversation program includes a personalized Statement of Medical Preferences that is then shared with family members, friends, and healthcare professionals as the person continues to receive healthcare services. This document can stand alone or it can be attached to any Advance Directive form (these forms are available online for each state), required to inform healthcare professionals of your wishes and preferences.  Graceful Conversations makes it possible to have a positive experience preparing for healthcare services and to engage in ongoing conversations with your doctor.  You don’t have to be afraid, or struggle alone anymore. Contact me, we can have that first Graceful Conversation.

Peace to all,

Rev. Nancy True

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