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Peaceful Transitions: Stories of Success and Compassion; Plan Now, Die Later--Ironclad Strategy

ISBN: 9781933418278
Publisher: Life Transitions Publications
Edition: Second
Publication Date: 2011-08-09
Number of pages: 224
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  • Regular price $25.85

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Your goals for the last chapter of life may not differ from other chapters: to maximize pleasure and minimize suffering as much as possible. Control over dying can prevent both premature and prolonged dying. Control can also determine how much and how long you suffer before you die. What distinguishes the last chapter? The chances are two out of three you will not be able to express your current desires. That is why you must decide NOW, while you still can. First learn about your likely end-of-life scenarios, such as Advanced Dementia. Second, decide what you would want if you were in that condition. Third, memorialize your wishes to inform your future caregivers and physicians. While these three steps sound straightforward, in practice they are not. First, it is NOT easy to learn about what it is like to live in Advanced Dementia. Second, it is NOT easy to learn all about your legal end-of-life options. Third, there is a huge difference between REQUESTING and GETTING others to honor your Known Wishes. The reasons are complex, cultural, powerful, and constantly changing. Yet the obstacles these challenge present can be overcome. The first section (or separate book) Peaceful Transitions: Stories of Success and Compassion explains why health care professionals and institutions and even close relatives may challenge your end-of-life wishes, what it is like to live in the stage of Advanced Dementia and other terminal illnesses, and what option to avoid a long and painful dying is legal almost everywhere. This Section/book of stories has two goals: to educate and to motivate.

Of all diseases, the advanced stage of Alzheimer's and related dementias are the most cruel (robbing victims of their humanity), long (lasting three years or more), frustrating (in trying to improve quality of life), costly (may devastate our economy), and escalating (will increase 3 to 4-fold by mid-Century). Destined to afflict fourteen million baby boomers directly, the Alzheimer's epidemic will affect most families and our entire society in is staggering proportions. Research in Great Britain revealed that one out of three people older than 65 will die with dementia. Unfortunately, the searched-for cure is at least a decade or more away. Current medications to slow down the progression of brain deterioration are only partially and temporarily effective.

Two aspects of the disease, dementia, make it especially problematic: 1) Often, there is NO high-tech life-sustaining medical treatment to withhold even after all agree that it is enough; 2) The disease itself makes it impossible to ask patients what they would want. In the opinion of author Dr. Terman and his five critical editors, there is only one solution that lets a person live as long as possible to avoid premature dying and is still effective. They call this solution, the ''Plan Now, Die Later Ironclad Strategy.'' The TOPICS in the Second Section/book, Peaceful Transitions: Plan Now, Die Later Ironclad Strategy presents the step by step way you can make sure that, when the time comes, others will honor your Known Wishes. TOPICS include the comforting opinion of a Catholic priest/health ethicist that ''Natural Dying'' can be consistent with the church's teachings in certain circumstances; how the new ''Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment'' forms threaten to override your previously created diligent decisions represented in your Living Will; how to select a person to be your proxy/agent; and how one can create and modify a strategic set of forms for half a lifetime.

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