Living wills are a must these days

Ask Gabby Gayle

Dear Gabby Gayle: Last month you heard from someone who was questioning when to get off the health system “merry-go-round.” I liked your reply, but I would go a step further and tell your readers to be sure to have all of your wishes legally done with a living will and durable power of attorney. In addition, you must talk to your children, and make sure they understand what do not resuscitate means: if your heart should stop beating you do not want CPR. To children out there, make sure you know what your parents want and that it is legally done. When children have to make your decisions, they may not agree on what should be done. It is often difficult to bring this subject up, but take from one who knows—it is vital!

Signed, Experienced

Dear Experienced: Thank you for writing about such a deeply personal and important subject. I might add a little tip: If you are in your later years and have a few chronic conditions, think about what tests you might want to forego. For instance, if you would not have cancer treatment, why undergo mammograms? If you would not want a treatment, why undergo the test? I have made these decisions for myself. I have cysts on my pancreas that could turn to cancer. However, I would not have the treatments, which are severe, so why would I keep having those scans that cost the system huge amounts of money? A doctor friend told me a patient of his did not want to return to the hospital after many frequent admissions. He told her she did not have to, that she could go into hospice. He said she was so relieved she could die in peace and comfort and no more hospitalizations. Thanks again for writing.

Signed, GG

Dear Gabby Gayle: I have met a very nice man on a dating site. We have been involved for a few months, and he is now talking about getting married. The problem is he lives about 120 miles from where I live. It has often been difficult for us to get together and spend lots of time on phone and email. We each have a home and family in each of our cities. He has mentioned several times “When you come to live with me,” …

Fact is, and I have not told him this, I have no intention of moving anywhere. I love my home and being near my family. I’m afraid if I tell him, I will lose him. Help!

Signed, BB

Dear BB: I understand why people do not want to move in the later years; however, things like this should be brought up early in a relationship. You need to put your cards on the table now. I recommend only dating people in your city, unless you are willing to move should it become serious. Your man may be willing to move. You won’t know until you fess up. I had one reader who met a woman who was willing to move, but did not want to live in the house where he had lived with his wife for 50 years. I advised them to both sell their homes and move into an independent retirement community. They did and it was working well for them. Another couple moved in together, but found they were not good roommates, so she kept her house down the block and they “visited each other.” I have found there are many different arrangements in second marriages. Good luck to you.

Signed, GG

Dear Gabby Gayle: My adult kids say I am driving them crazy with my constant worry and questioning about their well-being. How do I stop being a mother?

Signed, A Mom

Dear Mom: You don’t. You just learn to keep your mouth shut and pray they will be OK!

Signed, GG