Who would have thought of lunch, karaoke, and ACP as the perfect trio? In Fe bruary, Centro Tyron Guzman's Latino elders human service program in Minneapolis partnered with Honoring Choices to introduce advance care planning conversations with seniors and family members from Mexico, Central and South America. In a Saturday community-centered program, the myths, realities, and "how to's" of beginning this conversation were introduced to persons of multiple generations and heritages. Participants discussed family experiences and learned why this discussion is so important. "Not one of 60 participants had really heard of ACP before this session. It was a completely new subject and a sensitive introduction for them" explained Barbara Greene, MPH, Director of Community Engagement with Honoring Choices Minnesota.
Prior to this community event, a focused pre-education session with Centro Tyron Guzman's staff occurred to determine how to best introduce new ACP principles with seniors. Their seniors staff supported the introduction of the new Short Form Spanish language health care directive to all participants. Seniors Program Coordinator Sandra Reyes also shared personal experiences on end-of-life situations with attendees. This personal story telling was a powerful part of the session. The strength of community stories in changing perceptions and "norms" about ACP was a crucial learning moment. Individuals were also surprised to learn that these conversations take place among persons ages 18 and older!
Centro Tyron Guzman's leadership in advance care planning is making a huge contribution toward Latino community awareness on end-of-life care. Executive Director Roxana Linares has been a strong supporter of ACP education. Introducing this conversation in a relaxed community setting with food, music and trusted individuals was an important step. And when the Honoring Choices Spanish language ACP video is completed, it will be a significant guide for future sessions at Centro and across the Latino community!