A valuable resource to help us cope effectively during our most trying times is available through Kōkua Mau. Hawaiian for “continuous care,” the statewide network supports and assists people who may be facing serious illness, as well as their loved ones.
Kōkua Mau provides information that helps to relieve the symptoms and stress of illness. It also includes information about hospice care, in order to provide the best care possible at the end of life.
A set of five, 20-page booklets developed by the Center on Aging at the University of Hawai‘i are practical, pragmatic and easy-to-use guides available at no charge from Kōkua Mau’s website.
Booklet 1: Advance Care Planning — Making Choices Known is a workbook for documenting the kind of care you want if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Knowing your wishes will help your family and loved ones if they have to make medical decisions on your behalf. In this booklet, you will learn about the types of decisions you can make ahead of time and how to let others know what you want.
Booklet 2: Planning Ahead — Funeral and Memorial Services offers options for funerals, memorials and burial. Which plans should you make now? Making plans ahead of time will help reduce the stress on surviving family members and loved ones when death occurs. Planning your funeral or memorial service with mindfulness is a gift you share with those you love. This booklet will help you make and document those decisions for the events following your death.
Booklet 3: Preparing To Say Good-Bye — Care for the Dying describes common symptoms experienced by dying people and how to best provide comfort. Those with a terminal illness will show a steady decline. Those with a serious chronic illness may have peaks and valleys. Learn to anticipate and manage changes that may occur.
Booklet 4: When Death Occurs — What to Do When a Loved One Dies is a guide to help you immediately following the death of a loved one. Honoring family and cultural rituals allows you to acknowledge the reality of the death and begin the healing journey. At the same time, you have much to do after a loved one passes. The document includes a checklist and practical help.
Booklet 5: Help For The Bereaved — The Healing Journey outlines what experts feel is normal grieving and what is abnormal or complicated grieving. Expressions of grief are as individual as fingerprints. There is no “right” way or specific length of time required.
Download the free updated PDFs from www.kokuamau.org/five-booklets.