Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Stay Informed . . .

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. . .don’t miss today’s monthly Town Hall meeting

4 p.m. in the 2nd floor theater.

Draw Up End of Life Plans Anytime

A dear friend who passed away recently after a lengthy illness took time to discuss with her spouse details to be attended to after her death. They both agreed on the disposition of their remains and where they should be ensconced. Both felt at ease talking quietly and patiently about their plans as her death approached. After taking care of her wishes, the widower discussed and passed on these plans to their children to be followed when he dies.

Making after-death lists can become critical when they deal with your final weeks, days and hours, especially if you lapse into a coma or any condition that makes it difficult to make on-the-spot decisions. Doctors and medical staff are committed to keeping their charges functioning as long as there is any chance they will survive, when they feel the patient is not terminally ill.

More than 30 percent of adults have formalized their end-of-life preferences in what is known as an advance directive – a legal document with instructions on how they feel they wish to end their lives. In most cases, the person wishes to avoid a lengthy pain-riddled existence leading to their death. Problems arise if there is no health-care proxy on hand to ensure that the patient’s directions are followed and/or when the patient is unconscious and medics have to determine whether or not the patient is terminally ill.

To increase your chances of a peaceful death, you should discuss your plans and wishes with your family physician. If you feel he or she is unwilling to go along with your directive, you might seek another doctor. In some cases, you might want to talk things over with a clergyman.

Review your plans over and over with members of your family – all of them so there are no battles when your end-of-life treatment and timing becomes critical. You might have one of them use their mobile phone camera to take a video of you explaining your plans.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 7, 2023 at 2:00 am

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