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February 2013 update
Making Vital Plans
     Would your loved ones know how to choose the medical care you would want if you were unable to communicate decisions for yourself? Whether you are a young, middle-aged, or older adult, specify your wishes now to ease future emotional and financial burdens on your family.
     Attend one of two forums on Monday, February 25 for a dynamic discussion of advance health care planning. These two-hour presentations will be free to the public, courtesy of San Jose Mercury News (SJMN) and Hospice of the Valley (HOV). SJMN journalist Lisa Krieger and Gary Bertuccelli, the CaducusHOV manager of social work and spiritual care, will be the featured speakers. Reservations are recommended for these events at the HOV building in San Jose
     Krieger described her father's poignant and expensive final days in an SJMN article in February 2012. It initiated a year-long series titled the "Cost of Dying," which we highly recommend.
    If you have been hesitant to broach this topic with a loved one, you may find Go Wish cards to be an effective conversation starter. Decks are available from Coda Alliance, another local organization promoting end-of-life discussions.
     Excellent resources are also available from the American Bar Association:
. Myths and Facts About Health Care Advance Directives
Consumer's Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning
 ● Making Medical Decisions for Someone Else: A How-To Guide
Corrected Links
    We appreciate the alert readers who notified us of problems with two links in our February newsletter.
    Please encourage middle and high school students whom you know to compete for cash prizes in the "Every Body's Beautiful" essay contest. had very recently - and incorrectly - changed the URL for their article on hypertension self-care and drug treatments. We notified CR of the problem. Please try this link, which works as we "go to press." (If CR changes the link again, we can send you a hard copy by USPS. Email your request with your street address and the subject line "High Blood Pressure.")
    Thank you for reading PlaneTalk and supporting our health information services!
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