FREMONT, Neb. In a time where we are constantly communicating through text messages, social media or emails, there is one thing many of us aren't talking about... the end of life. Only a third of adults in this country have advanced directives in place in the event they can't care for themselves. In this month's Health Check - Serese Cole tells us why now is the time to prepare.
Lila Day's recipes are much more simple now that she's 79-year-old.
But her life is more complex.
Two years ago, her husband went in for an operation on his foot.
"Probably 10 minutes later they said they were doing CPR, recalled Lila Day.
Lila lost her husband of nearly 60 years that day.
She also lost the chance to have a very important conversation.
"Have you ever considered if you die today - who knows your passwords to every bill you pay, how often you pay it or where your titles are for your bills for your houses or your cars?" asked Fremont Health Hospice Clinical Manager Karin Ricker.
"You're not actually having these conversations. And what we've really struggled with as a culture is that we fail to have these conversations until it's way too late," Ricker added.
Karin Ricker says no matter your age, now is the time to begin "end of life" planning ...for your peace of mind.
"So many people end up dying in the intensive care unit hooked up to ventilators, hooked up to tubes and IV's. And if you had asked them five or 10 years ago - that's not what they wanted," Ricker said.
You should also plan now - for the peace of mind of your family.
"They never had the opportunity to say, 'Mom, what do you want? Do you want me to put a feeding tube in you? Do you want to go through tests?" Ricker stated. "So they're struggling. Is this the right decision?
Is this what mom would have wanted. Is this my desire. Is this what I want?"
"I didn't want my kids to have to figure it out like I did. I wanted to make it easy on them," Lila Day said.
Lila is not only talking about it.
She's planning for what happens if she can't speak for herself.
"I have it all documented. She knows where all my papers and everything that she would need," Lila added.
"It makes me feel better that I'm not going to have to make choices or guesses because she's already predecided. I'm just the executor," said Lila's granddaughter Nikea Brady.
Lila's recipe for life: communication and preparation.
Key ingredients to the lesson this grandmother is passing down to her family.
"Who's going to take care of my girls? Who's going to take care of me? I have to have that plan - too," said Nikea Brady.
If you are wondering how to start the conversation, Karen Ricker says you can begin with a call to her office. Staff there will personally help guide you through the "End of Life" planning process. That number is (402 )941- 1699. You can also long on to these websites for help.
Advanced Directive Forms
Fremont Health Hospice