and see the fields where Rick had playedsoccer. They even took in an NHL hockeygame. “We did everything,” Fedori says.
“It was beautiful.”
Before Rick died, Fedori organized
a celebration of life for him at a local
community hall in March of 2015. “My
sons and daughters-in-law, Kelsey and
Annie, along with 50 gracious and
generous people, solemnly added their
voices to honour this ordinary guy’s
remarkable life and death,” she says.
Dr. Steven Aung, Rick’s doctor and a
professor in the University of Alberta’s
Faculty of Medicine, performed a special
Buddhist blessing to help guide Rick on
the next phase of his journey.
With his family by his side, Rickpassed away in a Calgary hospice laterthat month. Fedori thought she wasprepared for the moment. “But theshock of death after years of caregivingwas nothing compared to the extremeloneliness. People disappeared. A greatsilence began,” she says. She is nowwriting a book about her experiences.
“We were married for 34 years. It waseasy to talk about nothing. It was great tocome home and hear somebody’s breathin the house.” |a
PREPARING FOR END-OF-LIFE CARE:
THE GREEN SLEEVE PROGRAM
Dr. James Silvius, provincial medicaldirector for Seniors Health and thesenior medical director for the SeniorsHealth Strategic Clinical Network,describes the Green Sleeve program asthe key preparation for end-of-life care.
“It’s a recognition of the wishes anddesires of an individual in terms of thehealthcare they will receive,” he says.
A Green Sleeve is a plastic folder thatholds your advance care planningforms. Think of it as a medical passport.
It holds important legal forms that gowith you through the healthcare system.
Anyone 18 or older benefits fromcreating a personal directive.
In an emergency, Alberta HealthServices care providers can look at theforms in your Green Sleeve and quicklyknow your healthcare wishes. Theseforms list important healthcare decisionsand name an agent, the person youtrust to carry out your wishes in theevent you no longer have that capacity.
A goals of care designation is a medical
order written by your doctor or nurse
practitioner that guides healthcare
providers about the care you want at
the end of life.
Filling out this paperwork clarifies andcommunicates what you see as leadingto a good death. These decisions arenot carved in stone. It’s important toapproach this process thoughtfully, butyou can always change your mind andcreate a new Green Sleeve to betterreflect your values, evolving health oreven new options for treatment thatbecome available over time.
Your Green Sleeve belongs to you, andit should only have the most up-to-dateforms inside. Keep it on or close to yourfridge so first responders know whereto look in an emergency. You can get aGreen Sleeve from your family doctor orany Alberta Health Services provider.
For more information, go to myhealth.alberta.ca and search advance careplanning green sleeve.
easy to talk
Rick Buck, left, visits with a friend at the Agape Hospice in Calgary.
Photographed by George Webber