Below is an article that will appear in the May issue of the Crestone Eagle. Please freely share the information about advance directives, and share the information about CEOLP’s services during this period of social restrictions with anyone for whom it is appropriate. May you stay healthy and well.
COVID-19 Restrictions Limit CEOLP Activities
Under the current COVID-19 restrictions, the Crestone End of Life Project (CEOLP) will not be able to serve our registrants with open-air cremation or to assist families with burial at the Town Cemetery.
In the case of NON-COVID-related deaths during this time, the CEOLP/IFC board and volunteers are available to assist and support families of the deceased in these ways: by assisting with alternative disposition arrangements, emotional support, and by providing information and supplies, as needed. Please note: Observing restrictions means that CEOLP volunteers will not be able to enter the home, but will communicate via phone, text, and email.
In the case of a suspected COVID-related death, if the person did not die in the hospital, the Saguache County Coroner and the State or County Health Department should be contacted immediately (Call 911). There are special protocols in place to address the handling of COVID-related deaths.
For any CEOLP registrant who may have died during this period of social restrictions, a special ceremony can be held at the cremation site after the restrictions have been lifted. The CEOLP/IFC board is also planning to display a special copper memorial plaque at the site in honor of any registrant who dies during this period.
Consider an advance directive specific to COVID-19
You may want to consider writing a special COVID-19-specific advance directive stating your wishes regarding medical care in the event that you are not able to communicate them. This is especially important if you do not want to die in isolation, away from family, and if you know you would not choose to be put on a ventilator if your illness has progressed to that point. Fifty to ninety percent of patients put on ventilators still die. It is an invasive and traumatic procedure. Even those who survive may do so with a much-impaired quality of life.
A simple directive in writing, witnessed and notarized, can express your wish to remain at home, or if in the hospital, to be released to return home and to not be placed on a ventilator. This is a legal choice you can make. Copies should be made and given to your legal representative or next of kin, and this document should be with you if you are hospitalized. You may also ask a trusted family member or loved one to assume the legal role as your medical power of attorney or representative. For more information, visit: gero.usc.edu/COVID-19/.
County Coroner: Dial Sheriff’s Office or 911
Town of Crestone: townofcrestone.colorado.gov
Hospice Del Valle: hospicedelvalle.org (719) 589-9019
Rogers Family Mortuary: rogersfunerals.com
Alternative Cremations (Pueblo) crematecolorado.com (719) 633-9999