Being prepared for the end helps

Most of us are reluctant to think about the end of our lives, or to consider the impact severe illness and death will have on loved ones.

Most of us are reluctant to think about the end of our lives, or to consider the impact severe illness and death will have on our loved ones. One of the ways to reduce the stress for our families is to become articulate with the issues, and then plan ahead.

What might these issues be? How many people have thought about what care they would like in case of severe illness, such as a stroke? Who do we discuss this with, and how do we document our wishes so that they will be carried out if such an event occurs? What is the difference between a Will and a Living Will? What does an Executor do? Do we know what a Representation Agreement or Power of Attorney are? Lawyer Mike Sweeny will clarify these things and show how they can be used as tools to make things easier for our loved ones.

It is the right of all of us to understand how to participate in future health care decisions. Kay Costley-White will discuss some of the medical issues, and show how a Living Will may be used to provide some measure of control over our future care.

We are all going to die some day. Doing what we can to reduce the distress our families will face is a great gift we can give them. The decision making and documentation only have to be done once, then we can get on with living, knowing that we have contributed what we can to the grace and dignity of our passing.

Advance Care Planning for the End of Life is being offered by New Denver Hospice, and funded by the Columbia Basin Trust. It will take place Saturday, November 17 from 1-4 p.m. at the Knox Hall in New Denver. Admission is $10.