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Deck of Cards is More Than a Game: Integral in Silverado Hospice Care

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A senior citizen soared over the 13,500-foot peaks of Utah's Uinta Mountains in a small plane. The high-flying adventure was taken by retired WW II B-25 pilot Roy Heden. The thrill came from a last-wish program through Silverado Hospice, a service line of Silverado Senior Living, where Heden was a patient. Called Go Wish, the program is based on a deck of cards and it has helped many realize a special activity at the end of their lives.

Silverado Hospice began working with Go Wish in 2007 and it has provided wishes to nearly 100 people in its care. The Go Wish program was developed by the not-for-profit Coda Alliance to educate hospice patients, their family members, and their caregivers about end-of-life care options and advance care planning.

Go Wish is based on a deck of 36 cards, each with a short statement about something that people often cite as being important to them in the last weeks or months of life. To use Go Wish (in the 'solitaire' mode), patients sort the cards, rank priorities about what's important to them, and then explain to a friend or family member why they sorted the cards in that manner. Choices include reconnecting with an estranged family member, being free from pain, having a special person by one's side at the last moments, or reminiscing with old friends about personal accomplishments. Wild cards allow the selection of almost any activity, such as Mr. Heden's flying over the mountains. Whenever possible the Silverado Hospice team assists the patient, family and friends in realizing the wish, large or small.

"Go Wish provides an innovative and helpful tool for people in hospice, their family, and friends to articulate or clarify wishes at what can be a difficult time," says Scott Robinson, senior vice president of Silverado Hospice. "The program not only provides the hospice patient with a special opportunity, it also enhances communication and understanding."

Go Wish ties directly into Silverado's mission of providing life-affirming care and individual dignity at all stages of life, said Loren B. Shook, president of Silverado Senior Living.

"We founded Silverado Hospice believing that through effective, compassionate care, patients can approach the end of their lives with dignity and comfort in the midst of a caring environment sensitive to their needs," Shook said. "We do this by helping our patients achieve physical and emotional comfort so they can concentrate on living life as fully as possible. Patients are urged to, stay active as long as they are able, take part in activities they enjoy and do something they have always wanted to do."

Silverado Hospice operates in California, Texas, and Utah. Its parent company, Silverado Senior Living, also operates 17 memory-care communities in California, Texas, Utah, and Arizona, and it offers home care and care management in California, Texas, and Utah through its Silverado at Home service line. Established in 1996, Silverado Senior Living is based in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Visit for more information.

SOURCE Silverado Senior Living
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