Aloha Family and Friends,   12/1/19,   GRADUATION FROM EARTH,    This NOTE came across my desk this morning and I felt it  well “WORTH CONSIDERING”  as the Bible teaches:  “It is appointed unto man once to die but after this the Judgment.”  Heb. 9:27.   At this point in time there are not many left on earth in my generation.  So being old is rather a new experience for me and life has really been very short.  I remember clearly of being a little boy on a HillBilly farm in Kentucky.   Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14.

So you just might want to tuck these thoughts away in your personal papers for later consideration.     Yours, in HIS great love and wonderful grace and mercy,  Ken<><

1. Do you and your family (parents, siblings, etc.) have a living will? This document spells out what your wishes are regarding ventilators, heart shocks, and other interventions if you’re sick. It’s hard to know. But imagine you had dementia, didn’t know your husband’s name, and couldn’t feed yourself. Would you want extraordinary measures done to keep you alive? Would you want to be treated for pneumonia (a leading cause of death in the U.S., especially in the elderly)? Or just left to die?

2. Do you have a health care proxy? This is a document that says who you want making decisions for you if you’re incapacitated. Talk about it. I’ve known of families where two kids thought dad wanted everything done to keep him alive and two thought the exact opposite. You can’t have both. Someone will make the decision, and relationships can fracture over it.

Be sure and sit down with your designees and make your wishes clear. I recommend doing it with at least two family members and have them write out your wishes so you’re sure they understand.

3. Have you thought about where you want to die? At home? The nursing home? Don’t forget about “hospice care,” which provides pain medication but nothing else. No treatments, no tests, no interventions in your last months of life… This is how I’d like to go: At home with little pain. But everyone’s decision is personal. If you expect to care for a loved one through this last stage of life, please ask him or her now.

4. Have you considered nursing homes and assisted living centers? If so, be sure and look at the fine print.

And be sure to look online at the federal government’s website on nursing homes   The site allows you to compare ratings and locations among thousands of nursing homes. For a U.S. government site, it’s surprisingly useful and chock-full of information to help you decide what’s best for your situation.

5. What’s covered by insurance when someone is dying? Once you or your family member is in a nursing home, who pays for a hospitalization? What will be your out-of-pocket expenses for each major decision? If you had $250,000 to leave to your daughter but you were in your final year of life, would you want to be treated out of pocket or forgo it and let your child get the money?  It doesn’t seem like a big deal now, but you and your daughter should talk about it. Imagine if you discovered she felt the exact opposite… You should know these things before you’re in the midst of it and don’t have any control to take your time and consider what is best for you.

6. Have you addressed your spirituality? Whatever your beliefs, make them known to your family and loved ones. Do you want your priest coming by? Do you want music? Do you want to give or get forgiveness from anyone? These issues should be discussed if not explicitly planned for. Is there anyone you want to talk to about love? Again, all things to talk about.

Actually, if you are not sure about where you will spend eternity as an eternal soul…  This life time will be all the time that you have to change the outcome.  Need some help?  Get back to me….  Ken<><

I hope these six topics open up a dialogue with at least yourself… and that this essay has added a little something to your life. I truly hope that as you contemplate your or another’s mortality, you can talk about it safely with friends and loved ones.

Begin the dialogue this week and continue it throughout the upcoming holiday season.  Here’s to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,    Dr. David Eifrig

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