Plan for your future by considering end-of-life

We don’t know when the end-of-life time starts or when it stops. But, we cannot avoid the reality. Thinking ahead about end-of-life issues, for ourselves and for loved ones, helps us make that time as rich as possible. It also avoids pain and stress!

Peace Lutheran Church presents free seminars on “End-of-Life Issues” presented by our Contemporary Issues Study Group. Seminars start at 9 a.m. on each Saturday covering the topics listed below. Events start with coffee and light snacks. Speakers begin at 9:15 a.m. and take questions from the audience after their presentations.

It all happens in our Old Fellowship Hall at Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main St., near downtown Grass Valley. The lot has ample parking that includes handicapped spaces.

‘End-of-Life’ Topics & Dates are listed below.

Oct. 14: Falls & Insurance

Speakers: Karen Marinovich, of the Falls Prevention Coalition of Nevada County; and Carolyn Washington, of Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP),

Falls pose huge health risks for older adults and impact their end-of-life quality. One in three adults aged 65 and older falls each year; women face far greater risk than men; a fall can cost more than $35,000 in hospital bills on average; falls are linked to a 40 percent higher incidence of automobile wrecks; and the broken bones and head injuries that result from falls can permanently alter a senior’s independence, research shows.

Today’s seminar covers the consequences of falls and how to prevent them. It also offers information on Medicare insurance programs available to pay for these and other conditions.

Oct. 21: Funeral planning & hospice care

Speakers: Debbie Prisk Olsen of Hooper & Weaver Mortuary Inc.; and Carolynn Peterson, executive director of Hospice of the Foothills.

Dying costs a bundle.

About 1 in 5 deaths in the United States were preceded by a year of very high medical costs, according to research led by Melissa Aldridge of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, N.Y. More costs come with funeral, burial and related arrangements, potentially topping $10,000.

Oct. 28: Right to Die

Speakers: Dylan Hendricks, lawyer with Hendricks McFarlane in Grass Valley, specializing in elder law, trusts & wills; James McGregor, a specialist in hospice and palliative medicine affiliated with Sutter Health.

Medical and legal issues of California’s new End of Life Option Act, which allows people diagnosed with a terminal illness to receive medication to end their lives. It can cut short people’s suffering – but it also raises concerns.

Nov. 4: Small group discussions

Speakers: Marie Barth, Bahá’í faith; Patt Lind-Kyle, the connection between science and spirituality; the Rev. Eileen Smith-Le Van, Jewish and Christian beliefs.

Our attitudes toward the final weeks of life, and of death itself, affect how we experience this last stage of human development.

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