Page 31 - Senior Scene April 2018
P. 31

Senior Scene® | April Issue
Give Them the Best Gift You Can Give
Susan Acocella
VITAS Healthcare General Manager
Few subjects can be as unsettling as creating an end-of-life (EOL) medical plan, also called an advance directive, that outlines the care you would want if you were too ill to speak for yourself.
On the other hand, taking the time to complete an advance directive form could bring untold peace of mind to distraught family members should you become terminally ill, seriously injured, dealing with advanced dementia or near the end of life.
This is on my mind because Monday, April 16, 2018, is National Healthcare Decision Day. I’m delighted a day has been designated to highlight this critically important subject, even if most folks are reluctant to broach it.
If you neglect to create an EOL plan while you’re in good health and of sound mind, you risk leaving critical decisions about your medical care in the hands of loved ones and medical professionals.
Anyone who has visited a seriously ill family member in the hospital knows that it can be a time of stress and difficult decisions. Any decisions you make now spare the people you love from additional pain – and spare you from medical procedures you don’t want, while keeping medical expenses in check.
Among the issues an advance directive can tackle are:
* The types of life-support treatments you would want, or not want, at the end of life
* Whether you would want tubes inserted to provide nutrition and hydration
* The name of the person you authorize to make medical decisions on your behalf
In honor of National Healthcare Day, put your wishes in writing. Start by going to or
For more information about hospice care or your end-of-life care options, call VITAS Healthcare at 321-751-6671.
We have a chat line on our website. See how this story may fit you.
Patient: ...terrified of dentists since I was a child, but I still need to do something for me. My self-confidence is so beaten down and I hide and try not to smile or open my mouth too far. It’s become debilitating.
Chat line: I am so sorry to hear you have had a bad experience! We do see and treat many patients who are fearful! Knowing in advance gives us the opportunity to treat you with extra kindness and care.
Patient: I need to feel comfortable with a dentist. This is the huge hurdle for me. I was always very outgoing, and not that way these days. I am ashamed.
There was more to that chat, but you get the gist.
I wrote the patient a personal email.
Dear ___________________,
I read your words and felt that I wanted to respond personally. I can’t pretend to understand the pain that you endured as a child. But I can help you, at the very least, to find your way to a dentist who will help you. Rather than make an appointment for an examination, how about our arranging a meeting. No dental chair. Just a very pedestrian office where I write and study. We can sit for a while and chat.
Just send me an email to this address and we’ll figure out a time to meet.
Lee Sheldon
We are now arranging to meet and chat in my private office. I know many dentists who would do the same thing. Make that call. Send a message on the dentist’s website. Once you find the right dentist to work with, you’ll start the journey to restored oral health. Our office number is 321-369-9788.
I’m Afraid of the Dentist
Dr. Lee Sheldon, DMD
April 2018 | Senior Scene® Magazine | 31

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