Elder E-Letter: November 2018

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Save the Date: The Alzheimer’s Association Annual Educational Summit on Alzheimer’s and Related Dementies

When:
Friday, March 29, 2019
7:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Family Caregivers, Professionals, and the General Public are invited to attend the Alzheimer’s Association Annual Educational Summit. For those of you who came last year, you already know this is going to be an awesome event. Registration includes: educational materials, food, CEU’s for professionals, and access to experts in the field. This event is free for caregivers.

Register here

Location:
Oblate School of Theology Whitley Center
285 Oblate Drive
San Antonio, TX 78216

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Elder Law Askit Basket: Honoring End-of-Life Wishes

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By, Jody Hudspeth, Paralegal for The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC
One of the many hats I wear as a paralegal is answering phone calls and emails from concerned loved ones and caregivers. This column, “The Elder Law Askit Basket”, features some of the scenarios we hear on a frequent basis. If you have a question you’d like to see answered here, please email me at: jhudspeth@assistingseniors.com.

I’m a healthy 65-year-old woman, and I’ve been a hospital nurse for decades. Anyway, I have seen a lot of people die, and I have some pretty strong opinions regarding life support. What can I do to ensure my end-of-life wishes are fulfilled when the time comes?

What a great question. A lot of people don’t want to talk about dying, so I admire your candor.

First, I want to assure you that as long as you are of sound mind and you’re able to communicate your wishes, your doctor has a duty to honor them. However, if there comes a time that you’re unable to make your own medical decisions because of illness or injury, a Directive to Physicians can help your family and medical agent determine whether to give you life-sustaining treatment for a terminal or irreversible condition.

Most Directive to Physicians forms have two options: one is to withhold all life-sustaining treatment and allow the person to die as gently as possible, the other is to administer life-sustaining treatment, regardless of the terminal or irreversible condition. If you’re very elderly or you already have a bleak diagnosis, checking off one of these boxes may well suit your wishes.

Many people fear a long, drawn-out death so they default to the first option. The issue here is that sometimes doctors (just like lawyers) make mistakes. If a doctor makes an inaccurate diagnosis of a terminal or an irreversible condition and you’ve selected this option, there’s no going back. You might want to consider a third option we’ve recently added to our form—this option allows your medical agent to make the decision at the time it is needed.

I hope you’ve found my answer helpful. If you’d like to talk about this more, please call The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for you to meet with Carol Bertsch or Ellen Patterson.

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Coming up

Nov. 1 – Carol speaks at Caregiver SOS Summit on End of Life Planning

Nov. 12 – The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC observes Veterans Day

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Nov. 22&23 – The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC observes Thanksgiving

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Happenings

Oct. 4 – Carol attended the Dementia Friendly San Antonio Town Hall

Oct. 20 – Ellen Patterson, Toni O’Brien, and Cody Miller attended the Buddy Walk 2018 supporting the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas

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Oct. 20 – Carol Bertsch, Jody Hudspeth, Nena Thomas, and Janice Pichler attended the Walk to End Alzheimer’s 2018 supporting the Alzheimer’s Association

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Caregiver’s Corner

Early Stage Suport Groups
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UT Health: Caring for the Caregiver

Nov. 1 — SPECIAL EVENTCaregiver Summit: Navigating the Journey at Oblate School of Theology | 8:30am-2:00pm

Nov. 8 — The Essentials of Caregiving: Planning for the Future at UT Health Physicians MARC | 2:00pm-3:30pm

Nov. 15 — Caregiver Skills Training Workshop at UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing Simulation Lab | 3:30pm-5:30pm

Alzheimer’s Association

Click here for caregiver resources in Bexar County that are sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association.

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What’s Going on in Your World?

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We appreciate your feedback. Do you have a book or a topic you’d like to see featured in our newsletter? Please email your suggestions to jhudspeth@assistingseniors.com. All ideas are welcome.

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