CATHEDRAL CITY — Nearly half of all Americans die in a hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Nearly 70 percent of Americans die in a hospital, nursing home, or long -term care facility, according to the CDC, the nation’s public health agency.

Are you ready to die — on your terms?

The Cathedral City Senior Center is hosting, “Living Deeply, Dying Well,” a documentary film about choices and better endings. The film will be followed by a discussion about California’s new End of Life Option Act as part of its “Second Tuesday” presentations.

California End of Life Option Act is a law enacted in June 2016 which allows terminally ill adults residents in the state of California to access medical aid in dying by self-administering lethal drugs, provided specific circumstances are met.

Are You Living Deeply, Preparing to Die Well?

Pamela K. Steele

Pamela K. Steele, PhD, an educational psychologist, certified mediator, healthcare advocate, and healthcare navigator, will lead the program and discussion.

The program will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.  It’s free and open to the public.

Whether you’re 18 or 80, it’s important to plan ahead while you’re of sound mind, good health, and have the ability to do so, according to the presenters.  This 30-minute heartfelt documentary captures the voices and experiences of people finding comfort through making personal choices about death and how you die. The interviews and stories reveal the complexities of end-of-life issues in today’s healthcare environment and the many pathways to a better ending.

An open discussion will follow the presentation.

Some of the questions presenters might ask to discuss include:

  • Did you know that 75 percent of people close to dying are unable to speak for themselves?
  • If you are ready to die, do you know what type of medical care or intervention you want and under what circumstances?
  • If you can’t speak for yourself, who do you want to speak for you?

Presenters are also expected to explain why these are important questions to ask and answer. They are important in large part so you can:

  • Envision a peaceful/meaningful ending. Avoid unnecessary suffering as you die.
  • Relieve loved ones of burdensome decision-making as you die or afterward.
  • Help guide your caregivers and medical team.

The Cathedral City Senior Center is a nonprofit corporation 501 (c)(3).  Its mission is to improve the quality of life for seniors 50 and older living in Cathedral City and the surrounding communities.  The purpose of the Center is to assist all seniors from the active to the homebound by providing services that channel energy, relieve suffering, and foster health, happiness, and well-being.

The vision of the Cathedral City Senior Center is to be filled with a diversity of friendly, smiling, and happy people 50 years of age and older, taking part in challenging, enriching and supportive activities in a state-of-the-art facility with space to accommodate relevant programs and services.

The Cathedral City Senior Center is located at 37171 West Buddy Rogers Avenue, directly across Highway 111 from the Cathedral City Civic Center.

For more information, call 760-321-1548