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Medical Edge: Hospice of Hope Advance Directives

Updated: Wednesday, April 2 2014, 05:48 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A woman from Brown County is teaming up with  Hospice of Hope Ohio Valley to talk about sharing your wishes at the end of your life.

Florence Smith says she is done with aggressive treatment for lung cancer.  Her hospice team comes to see her each day.  To the team, it's Miss Florence who inspires them  every day.

Suzanne Tibbe, a Hospice of Hope nurse, said, "She has a very positive attitude, and to anyone with a terminal illness attitude is half the battle."

Hospice provides comfort care for Florence right now.

Tibbe explains, "We provide chaplain services, social work and nursing care.  We provide a physician that will visit the patients in the home, we provide medication and any supplies they might need."

But part of the reason we are able to share her story is that she let her family know in advance of her wishes.  And Florence did that through something commonly called an "Advance Directive."


Martie Bradford is a social worker with Hospice of Hope.  She tells us, "An advance directive could be a living will or a medical power of attorney. In a living will you would make decisions about what you would or would not want done, to keep you alive in the case that you couldn't make those decisions for yourself  at that time."

Miss Florence, who can't see well and crochet's beautiful blankets by feel, wanted to share her story to help the team talk about why it is so important to legally document your wishes before you die.

Florence said, "It's so important because you are the one that knows what you want done."

Without appointing someone to make end of life decisions for you, or putting those decisions in writing, one family member might want life prolonging treatments while the other family member knows that's not what the patient would have wanted.

Miss Florence now, and later, wanted us to let her family know, "That I love them, and that I've enjoyed knowing them, and that I thank 'em all.  I don't know what else I can say except they are wonderful people."


If you'd like to learn more about Advance Directives and leaving a legacy you can attend a free luncheon this weekend.  For reservations call 1-800-928-4243 or CLICK HERE.


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