From the beloved New York Times columnist, trusted authority on health, and bestselling author comes this complete guide to everything you need to know–emotionally, spiritually, and practically–to prepare for the end of life.
An invaluable road map to putting your affairs in order–or helping your loved ones do the same–this comprehensive book will answer every question you might have about what does and does not help smooth the transition between life and the Great Beyond. Wise, practical, and characteristically straightforward throughout, Brody advises on
• the intricacies of a well-thought-out (and fully spelled-out) living will that health care practitioners readily understand–and how to designate a health care proxy.
• planning a funeral or memorial to ensure your wishes are followed, including tips on how to reduce expenses.
• discussing prognoses and treatment options with doctors.
• your options for controlling pain, shortness of breath, bed sores, and other physical symptoms–plus the facts on feeding tubes.
• receiving the support you need through hospice care–and suggestions for loved ones and friends who want to help.
• lightening and enlightening your trials by incorporating spirituality into your life.
• understanding what happens, physically and mentally, when death is imminent, and recognizing when hand-holding and reassurance, not food or drink or an oxygen mask or CPR, is the proper course of action.
• easing your way through the journey of grief by admitting the reality of the loss, showing your emotions, and allowing yourself the time you feel you need.
No matter your age or current health, preparing for the inevitable when you are still fully in control of your faculties ensures that you’ll be in a far better position to enjoy the time you have left. As Brody notes, “From the start, consider the finish.”
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: Jane Brody's Guide to the Great Beyond|
|Release Date: 02-17-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Jane Brody's Guide to the Great Beyond
Chapter OneDeath Is Inevitable:
So Be Prepared
There's only one certainty in life, and that is sooner or later it will end. No matter how good a person you are, no matter how important your contribution to society, no matter how healthfully you eat and faithfully you exercise, you will not-you cannot-live forever. That is an incontrovertible fact from which you cannot-and should not-hide. Despite the best that modern medicine can offer, there is no cure for mortality.
Yet the overwhelming majority of people are ill prepared for their final days, or the final days of the people they love. Some people are superstitious. They harbor an irrational belief that thinking about death is inviting trouble. But the real trouble comes from not thinking about death well in advance. Others simply haven't bothered. Why not put off until tomorrow what you don't have to do today? But what if tomorrow is too late ...?
No matter what your age or the age of your loved ones, the time to prepare yourself for the inevitable is now. You never know when the end may come and whether you will be able to speak for yourself as it approaches.
Too many people wait until it is too late to determine how they wish to spend their final days.
Too many people have neither discussed nor recorded their end-of-life wishes with the people most likely to have a say in the matter.
Too many people are at risk of ending up like Terri Schiavo, locked in a vegetative state for years while their families fight over how to proceed.
Too many people spend their dying days suffering needlessly with intractable pain or plagued by futile medical intervention...