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Michigan citizens should make end-of-life decisions now

Last week, we discussed some of the estate planning documents that our Michigan readers might find useful when preparing for end-of-life care. It is important for these documents to consider a variety of situations that you might find yourself in when your time in this world is nearing an end. One of those situations is where and how you want your end-of-life care.

Some people might want to stay home in their final days. Programs like hospice and palliative care are two options to consider. These programs provide most, if not all, care at the person's home or in a home-like hospice facility.

Generally, hospice is suitable for a person who is expected to live up to six months. The caregivers are able to help monitor the person and provide pain relief for the unique pains that creep up as life ends. These programs usually provide considerable support for the person's family. Hospice caregivers are usually on call around the clock since end-of-life progression doesn't follow a traditional schedule.

Besides the obvious medical goals of hospice programs, you and your family might also benefit from emotional support the program offers. While you are cared for, your loved ones can get grief counseling to help them deal with the emotional aspects of your final days. This also allows you and your loved ones to focus on creating memories and enjoying the time you have left.

Before you reach your final days, you should ensure that you have made some of the difficult decisions so that your family knows what you want to happen. As you create your end-of-life care documentation, such as a power of attorney, make sure that you let your loved ones know your wishes and convey them in a manner that can be legally upheld if necessary.

Source: HelpGuide.org, "Late Stage and End-of-Life Care" accessed Feb. 12, 2015

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