Free Support for Completing an Advance Directive

An advance directive is a legal document that allows you to state your wishes for medical care and to appoint a proxy to speak on your behalf in the event that you are unable to communicate. Every adult needs an advance directive. As a community service, the Coalition to Improve Advanced Care offers free one-on-one assistance to Arlington adults who wish to complete an advance directive. Our volunteers are trained and certified to assist in completing either the Virginia Advance Directive form or the Five Wishes form. More importantly, they will help you learn how to communicate your wishes with your loved ones and health care providers. For more information on forms see Advance Care Planning Resources.

CIAC volunteers can converse by phone or in person at the library, a coffee shop, or other public places. To request a meeting, Contact Us. If you have a preference for a specific volunteer listed below, let us know. Download and share the Advance Directive Assistance Flier.

Our Volunteers:

Kathleen Garces-Foley is the Director of CIAC and a professor of Religious Studies at Marymount University.

Susan Jung is retired from a career in IT and currently volunteering for Arlington Neighborhood Village, a community-based nonprofit that helps older Arlingtonians remain independent at home by offering services, educational programs, and social events.

Arion Lillard-Green has worked as a chaplain for approximately 6 years and is now serving the community as a Hospice Chaplain with Goodwin House Hospice. She is looking forward to extending her services to be a source of information as we all seek to plan the stages of our lives.

Joan McDermott is a retired English teacher and now volunteers in the community.  She served on the Arlington Commission on Aging for six years, chairing it for three.  She also participates in the Northern Virginia Aging Network.

Carol Paquette is a Founder of Arlington Neighborhood Village (ANV) whose mission is to enable seniors to continue living independently at home and to enhance their quality of life through health and wellness programs, educational activities and social events. She originated ANV’s Continuum of Care seminar that informs seniors about the range of lifestyle choices available to them and the benefits of advance planning for dealing with future contingencies. Becoming a certified Advance Care Planning Facilitator was a natural extension of her interest in helping people prepare to live out their lives with confidence and dignity.

Cyndy Schneider is a retired legal aid attorney. She chaired the Arlington Commission on Long Term Care Residences for several years until its merger with the Commission on Aging on which she currently serves.

Marcia Taylor is a native of Norfolk Virginia and moved to Northern Virginia in 2001. She worked for the Virginia Employment Commission for 32 years assisting clients register for unemployment insurance and find suitable employment. Shortly after retiring she volunteered in the Chaplain's office at Virginia Hospital Center as a part-time patient companion which subsequently led to coordinator of the program. The patient companions provide 24-hour coverage to patients who were actively dying alone. 

Through this connection Marcia became involved with the inception of the now defunct Interchurch Community Health Initiative (ICHI). This collaboration of 11 local minority churches focused on providing health education and referral services to the local Arlington County population of marginalized and uninformed residents. The Coalition to Improve Advanced Care (CIAC) partnered with the ICHI to provide opportunities for 'The Conversation' to be shared within the community. Marcia believes that everyone, regardless of age, should embrace the need for advanced care as a natural, logical step to making sure your quality of life wishes are known. She is a member-at-large of the CIAC Steering Committee.