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Have you heard my presentation about the Five Wishes? No, I'm not talking about blowing our the candles on your birthday cake - these are the 5 wishes that give us some control over how we want to be treated if we were to became seriously ill. The "old" Hospice Administrator in me values the concepts of enhancing and maintaining dignity in times of serious and terminal illness. Five Wishes is more than a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, this document really makes you think about 5 questions, some of which are included in the your Living Will and Who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can't. It digs deeper " How do I want people to treat me? What do I want my loved ones to know? What I want my caregivers to keep in mind? What do I consider to be a quality of life? What do I think life support is and when, if ever, it should be stopped? " It even includes a wish that your family and caregivers respect your wishes even if they don't agree. Or putting in writing forgiveness for someone who may have hurt you or to whom you may feel you hurt at some time in your life.
This process of completing your 5 Wishes may take awhile. I thought I'd breeze right through it - oh no- not that easy. This is a thoughtful exercise, but one worth doing. It's worth doing for your own personal, emotional, and spiritual comfort and needs as well as your medical decisions and physical comfort.( It even gets into your wishes for your funeral - but that's another blog for another week.) Completing 5 Wishes is a gift for yourself but maybe more importantly for your family, loved ones, caregivers, doctors.
The 5 Wishes document costs $1each from an organization called Aging With Dignity. The George Family generously allow me to purchase the documents in quantities and if you stop by the funeral home,I can share them with you. I'm also happy to present information about Five Wishes and Aging with Dignity to your group or organization - just give me a ring!
It seems like retirement from Shelby Senior Services was just yesterday and it was two years ago! People ask me about retirement and I usually say something like “when it starts I’ll let you know!” After leaving Senior Services on Friday, I rejoined the George family the following Monday. Many are surprised to learn that I had never really left Glenn E. George and Son – in fact had continued co-facilitating the funeral home’s grief support group, Coffee and Comfort with my dear friend, Vickie Boling, throughout my tenure at Senior Services. I’ve learned that when the dear Lord decides your path, it’s useless to resist – He was determined I was to provide caring support to grieving people. Most of my life I was blessed to serve as Hospice Administrator in several wonderful hospice programs throughout Indiana and Illinois. Life is easier when you are following His chosen path.
One thing I missed after retirement was an outlet for my “musings” and those thoughts are bubbling over! At Senior Services I had a wonderful forum for those thoughts in the Horizons Newsletter and WSVX gave me time for a weekly “Sky’s the Limit!” radio show for “people 55 and better and those who care about them”. Then, this new website comes along and the George Family is giving me space to “muse” – in today’s parlance, I guess it’s called a “blog”.
This is the first “blog” and I’ll try to update weekly. I’ll be writing about life as we age; finding peace after loss that we have learned from our dear friends in the Coffee and Comfort group; and yes – the surprising comfort you might find in pre-arranging your own funeral! I’m also passionate about aging gracefully and healthfully – so there will be a lot of that too.
Let me know what you think – and I’m open to ideas and your own “musings”! Dianna