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Health & Science
With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.Every Thursday at 5:42 a.m., 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.Local support for To Your Health comes from Fresh Healthy Cafe in Cape Girardeau -- located inside St. Francis Medical Center. Online ordering is at freshsaintfrancis.com

To Your Health: Resolve to Make End of Life Decisions

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The COVID pandemic has highlighted the need for people of every age and income bracket to have some kind of plans in place for end-of-life decision making. As a recent article in US News and World Report states, “Estate planning isn't just for rich people; it's an opportunity for people of any age to control who will inherit their money and property, and to decide who can make medical and financial decisions on their behalf.”

Your estate-planning needs change throughout your life – starting when you're legally an adult.

The journal, American Family Physician outlined some of the key issues families face if they are unsure of a loved one’s wishes when that person becomes incapacitated. Decision making in these situations requires a complex integration of ethical implications, surrogate decision making, legal considerations, and communication skills. Creating a living will provides a legal document to guide your family and friends. In order to create this document, Ellen Rand, the author of Last Comforts, advises educating yourself about the different key treatments for end-of-life care, so that you can make informed decisions.

Other important estate planning elements include regularly updating beneficiary designations, establishing durable power of attorney, creating a will, choosing a guardian and perhaps a trust for your children, and making a plan for long-term care. Consumer reports suggests that while you can do some estate planning on your own, you should enlist the services of a lawyer to draft the legal documents.

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