Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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End-of-life care

Gatherings next week and the week after will help people think ahead about the kind of care they want as their lives wind down.

At Mary Washington Healthcare’s two hospitals on Friday (April 15), visitors can get free advance directive forms, as well as information about Virginia laws and how to complete the forms.

The informational events will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the atrium area at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, and near the main entrance at Stafford Hospital.

On April 19 and 20, Hospice of the Rapidan will host two free seminars and luncheons  about the importance of making end-of-life health care decisions before you get too sick, according to a press release. The events are being held to commemorate National Healthcare Decisions Day, which is Saturday, April 16.

Making decisions about the kind of life-prolonging care you want—and who you want to make  decisions for you if you become unable—can spare family members anguish and confusion as your life comes to an end.

Since 2008, National Healthcare Decisions Day has been celebrated around the country as a way of drawing attention to these issues.

Events hosted by Hospice of the Rapidan will be held:

  •  April 19 at the Warrenton-Fauquier Visitor Center on Tuesday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • April 20 at the Lake of the Woods Club House, Locust Grove, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

People who attend the seminars can get free advance directive forms, along with advice from attorneys, financial advisors and others about how to have their choices honored . Lunch will be provided. Reservations are required by April 15. To reserve a seat or get more information, contact Rachel Nicholson at Hospice of the Rapidan at 540/825-4840 or

For more details about advance directives, visit More information is available on the National Healthcare Decisions Day site,

(Thanks to writer Jessica Masulli for helping to compile information for this blog post.)