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Making End-Of-Life Preparations

According to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 44 percent of Americans have a will.

Photo: Ken Mayer (Flickr)

According to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 44 percent of Americans have a will.

Preparing for the end of your life can be a grim and difficult process. As a result, putting our affairs in order tends to fall to the bottom of our to-do lists.

Part of being human is coming to terms with our own mortality. When is the right time to draft a will? If we fall ill, who should take care of us?

This week on Noon Edition, our panelists discussed end of life care and planning.

Peggy Frisbie is an estate attorney at Bunger and Robertson. She recognizes talking about death is difficult for many of her clients to grasp, but says planning is key.

“It’s a gift to everybody you know–your family, your friends–to do that planning.”

This planning includes drafting a will and designating a healthcare representative to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated.

Melanie Miller is the volunteer coordinator at IU Health Hospice in Bloomington and urges many patients and clients to assign themselves a healthcare proxy.

“I truly feel, because of the unpredictability of life, that that’s probably the single most important thing that anyone can do in life.”

Part of planning for the end of life includes psychological preparation.

Carol Sidell is a therapist at In Tandem Counseling and specializes in advanced care planning and dignity therapy. Dignity therapy is designed to help terminal patients process their feelings about death as well as their family’s feelings.

Sidell says deathbed conversations with dying family members is often a myth.

 “They don’t have to be a fallacy or a myth. These conversations can happen before the deathbed. We can plan things … so that we are all ready and aware of what’s happening and we are all supporting each other.”

Guests:

Peggy Frisbie: Indiana Trust & Estate Lawyer at Bunger & Robertson, Bloomington, IN

Melanie Miller: Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Volunteer Coordinator at IU Health Hospice, Bloomington, IN

Carol Sidell: Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Therapist at In Tandem Counseling, LLC, Bloomington, IN

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