End of Life Planning

Making the Best of Your Final Days

Last Will & TestamentIn our culture, where longevity is often valued far more than quality of life, many individuals spend their last days undergoing medical procedure after medical procedure, enduring the endless and inevitable cycle of hope and despair. Often, the patients are not the ones making the decisions—loved ones pull out all the stops believing they are acting in everyone’s best interests. There is, however, an option. You can put together an “end of life” plan that helps everyone—one that allows you to experience more peace in your final days, and absolves your loved ones from guilt if they don’t feel they are doing everything they can to keep you alive.

Across the United States, companies like Vital Decisions, in New Jersey, have started working with elderly and terminally ill persons, helping them understand their options and put measures in place that allow them to be active participants in their care, and that give the opportunity to spend more of their final days in positive and loving interactions.

At Vital Decisions, the process starts with the patient. Caregivers meet with elderly and terminally ill persons and have the difficult discussions, what CEO Mitchell Daitz calls “jump-starting unbiased, honest discussions of end-of-life care among family members.” The objective, according to caregivers, is to determine what the patient wants. Studies show that, when there are frank and honest discussions about the patient’s condition and the consequences of various treatment options, fewer patients choose to have the most aggressive medical care. In the process, medical expenses are dramatically reduced. Daitz estimates that up to $100 million could be saved nationally in 2014.

Skeptics are concerned that too much focus may be placed on the cost savings for insurance companies, and that individuals may fail to get care that could add to the quality and the length of their lives.

Contact Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P. A., Attorneys at Law

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