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Pandemic Shows Need For End-Of-Life Planning

On The Sound of Ideas, we talk to experts about end-of-life planning. [zimmytws/shutterstock]
On The Sound of Ideas, we talk to experts about end-of-life planning. [zimmytws/shutterstock]

Few would have predicted that a global pandemic would devastate our country this year, and certainly not the families of the more than 560,000 people who have died so far due to COVID-19. 

But a tragic time for families may be even tougher if they haven't had conversations with their loved ones about end-of-life health care and legal decisions if they become seriously ill. 

And according to a newly published report from the University of Michigan's National Poll on Healthy Aging, less than half of older adults have completed at least one advanced care planning legal document, such as a medical power of attorney or a living will.

Of the 54% who had not filled out any documents, 62% said they had not gotten around to it, 15% said they didn't know how, and 13% said they don't like talking about these things. 

To start The Sound of Ideas, we're going to "talk about these things" in honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day happening this Friday, April 16th. We'll talk to experts who help families with these difficult conversations and find out why they are necessary. 

And, we'll hear ideastream's Carrie Wise's conversation with filmmaker and winner of the CIFF DReam Catcher Award, Todd Stephens. 



Ohio Legal Help

Hospice of the Western Reserve: Courage in Conversations Guide

Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging:  The Real Story About Guardianship

-Mary McKernan-Gryzmala, Clinical Team Leader, Hospice of the Western Reserve

- Mary Ertle, Program Manager, Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland Area Chapter 

-Susan Choe, Executive Director, Ohio Legal Help

-Orion Bell, CEO & President, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging

-Carrie Wise, Managing Producer of Arts and Culture, ideastream 

-Todd Stephens, Filmmaker & CIFF DReam Catcher Award Winner

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”