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30% of Seniors Will Need Support for Making Healthcare Decisions

Posted Jun 17 2010 6:00am

From McKnight's - Researchers at the University of Michigan reviewed the records of 3,746 people aged 60 and older (the average age was 80) who died between 2000 and 2006. Nearly 30% of those individuals at some point prior to death became unable to make health care decisions for themselves, researchers found. Of that 30%, roughly two-thirds had a living will of advance directive.

Most individuals with an advance directive wanted non-aggressive palliative care; only 2% wanted aggressive life-prolonging care, according to the report. The research appears in a recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

It is encouraging that two-thirds of those who became incapacitated had living wills. But that is not enough. If you want a good example of a living will / advance directive, check out Five Wishes.

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