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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Two More Wishes to Go /   Editorial List

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Two More Wishes to Go

Be careful what you wish for is the theme that comes to mind when watching the Town Hall meetings that are happening across the country this month. The topic is health care reform and the conversations are energized to say the least. I have long had the wish to see us as a nation fully engaged in a thought-provoking healthcare conversation. It is one topic that is especially valuable to present and future caregivers. Better we talk of health reform around the water cooler than what happened last night on Jon and Kate or who was latest contestant to leave the island.

In particular, it is good to hear people talk about advanced directives. Of course, some of the definitions of advanced directives and end of life planning that are being bandied about need clarification. The funny thing is that whenever advanced directives are discussed in public, more people are made aware of them which leads to more being filled out for ourselves and our loved ones.

As in everything of importance to caregivers, it is vital for us to seek out the truth. Whether it is dealing with our healthcare partners, long -term care placement, hospice care, or end of life planning, there are too many opportunities for mal-information to be disseminated. When that happens, it actually helps no one and can possible be harmful to our loved ones. So in the interest of furthering useful conversation, please allow me to help with a textbook definition of advanced directives used for purpose of end-of-life planning. The following is taken directly from the Wikipedia website:

Advance health care directives, also known as living wills, advance directives, or advance decisions, are instructions given by individuals specifying what actions should be taken for their health in the event that they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity.
Pretty simple and vitally important.

For my personal story on the topic:
Deja Vu

Many of you have heard about my dog Morris who accompanies me everywhere and is in fact sitting with me on the chair as I write this. He asked me to see if you would lend a hand and vote for him in this week’s competition. 

Gary Barg

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