Local News

End-of-Life Care Is Something To Talk About

Posted September 7, 2000

— Talking about end-of-life care is not something many people like to do. But state leaders say it is a discussion many of us need to have with family members sooner rather than later.

"It's not something you study. Just all of a sudden, you're faced with it," says Lynne Eggers.

Eggers and her husband Ed say end-of-life care was not something they discussed until each of their parents got sick.

"It's enormously expensive for these homes, and hopefully, we've had enough foresight, witnessing what we've seen with her mother, that we've gone ahead and bought some of this long-term care insurance, as well as signed living wills," says Ed.

Preparing for end-of-life issues is becoming a big topic as baby boomers and their parents begin to age.

After going through the experience, the Eggers now openly talk about their future care so their family will be better prepared when decisions regarding their care will need to be made.

"You realize the importance of things like living wills, so you make sure those things are done," says Ed.

Living wills, hospice care and long-term health insurance are just a few of the end-of-life issues state leaders say need to be addressed.

Officials say in addition to getting legal documents in order, you also need to answer some important questions and share those answers with family members.

Those questions include:

  • What kind of setting do you want to be in at the end of your life?
  • Should medical technology be used to keep you alive as long as possible?
  • Would that decision change if you had a terminal condition?

    "We find lot of situations where our parents dies and we say, 'If only I had talked to my Mom about it. Would she want to be cremated? Does she want to be put on a ventilator? What is it she would have wanted?'" asks Judi Lund Person, president, Carolina Center for Hospice & End of Life Care.

    State leaders are meeting to find ways to encourage this type of dialogue and kick off a campaign called "Isn't It Time We Talk?"

    Governor Hunt has declared September 11-15 "Improving End-of-Life Care Week" in North Carolina.

    For more information about end-of-life issues you can call1-800-662-8859.

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