Comedian George Carlin offered his reasons for living life backwards. “You should die first and get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You drink alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb. you spend the last nine months floating. Then you finish off as an orgasm.”
We know we don’t really have that choice so some plan ahead for the end of their life. While many people plan from a financial perspective how many of you have created a “Care Plan” for the final months of your life? According to a 2017 Kaiser Foundation study, 50% die in nursing homes or hospitals. More than 10% “are cruelly shuttled from one to the other in their final days” and yet 7 out of 10 Americans say they hope to die in their own home.
What have you done to prepare for your end of life? Hopefully, you have the essentials (a will, POA, Health Care Proxy) and have begun a conversation with family or a close friend as to what you want if you become terminally ill or mentally incompetent.
I encourage you to order a copy of “Five Wishes” at www.agingwithdignty.org or calling 888-594-7437 as this booklet will help you look at options and hopefully make some decisions you hadn’t even contemplated. Always remember you can change your mind and therefore change your choices in the future.
I also recommend reading Katy Butler’s article “Preparing for a Good End of Life” in the February 8 edition of the Wall Street Journal or getting her newly published book, The Art Of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life.
We plan for a baby’s birth for nine months. Why not plan for the end of our life?