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Area seniors invited to get living will

January 30, 2014
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Seniors in the Austintown area will have a chance to get a living will at no cost, thanks to a partnership between the Austintown Senior Center and Harbor Light Hospice.

The joint effort will allow seniors age 60 and older to pick up the documents, read them over, then attend a seminar where they can have the living wills and power of attorney documents notarized.

Senior Center Director and Mahoning County Sheriff's Senior Services Director Kay Lavelle said if you ask seniors age 60 and over if they have a living will, many will answer no. She said they simply never took the time to research, learn about one, and then take the time to get it done.

"We are offering an opportunity to get the info ahead of time and learn what everything means in the documents," Lavelle said.

She said the living will and health care power of attorney should be assigned to a doctor or family member that the senior trusts to carry out his or her wishes, should they find themselves unable to express those desires.

An example is someone who slips into a coma. They are kept alive, but cannot verbally manage their health care at that point.

"It gives a person the right to act in your behalf when you can't do it for yourself," Lavelle said.

Anyone interested in this free program can contact the Senior Center or drop by to pick up the forms. The packet includes both the living will and the power of attorney, explaining each and what they mean.

Seniors can go through the forms and even fill them out, then attend a seminar at the Senior Center that will cover both documents. They may also choose to fill them out during the seminar.

The seminar will be scheduled soon at the center, and Lavelle said there will be a notary on hand to notarize them.

"The notary and seminar will be free," she said. "This is a great way to get these documents taken care of at no charge."

For more information, contact the Senior Center at 330-953-1416, or visit the center to get the forms packet prior to the scheduling of the seminar.



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