Grandparents Teach, too: Sharing stories, goals for future care

Sabin, Davis, Hetrick, Anderegg, Macalady, Walker, Darling and Katers

Usually this space is reserved for grandchildren’s care. This time Kate LaBeau, the Advance Care Planning Program Manager from the Upper Peninsula Health Plan is a guest writer addressing grandparent’s needs and future care.

Prepared grandparents who communicate their wishes while there is time help loved ones follow those wishes.

Now is a perfect time to share a personal story made up of the many experiences and choices best told by us. We know best what it is that helps us get through bumpy times.

Every one of us has a personal story of traditions, family stories, faith, and values we choose to honor and pass on. When grandparents share ideas, goals, and concerns, it is a tremendous and heartfelt gift and relief for those who care about us.

Sometimes we don’t tell our story to the people who might be asked to take care of us. Letting others hear what is important to us, who we care about, where we find comfort, and when we need help, gives them the information they need to take care of us. In times of emergencies, knowing how to take care of us will reduce the stress for all.

We can share in ways both our families and healthcare workers can follow. Telling our story is the first step to planning our future medical care, too. Sharing now will let others know and honor those choices later when we cannot speak for ourselves.

“Share Your Story” is a free program available on from 10:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 19 at the U.P. Children’s Museum, 123 W. Baraga Ave. Marquette.

How will this work?

Take part of your morning to share with a person in your family some of those cherished traditions, beliefs, and hopes at the museum. You will be guided by trained interviewers and can have fun as a group or privately just you and a family member. You will have the time to narrate your very own storybook to take with you. Once your story begins to unfold let a certified Advance Care Planning (ACP) facilitator help you translate the story into the medical language your doctor and future care providers need. ACP is provided to all by the Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions. Stay in control of your future care and well-being. Share your story, choose someone to be your advocate, and tell health care workers what you need. Why leave it up to chance?

How should you prepare?

Choose a loved one to spend the morning with on Feb. 19. Bring a willingness to have fun creating a gift of a lifetime and peace of mind. Prepare to spend time talking with someone important to you while leaving the busy-ness of the day at the door.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.