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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fort Thomas Woman Shares Personal Experience About End of Life Planning

When Fort Thomas resident Peggy Eberhard’s father-in-law passed away in 2002, she was so impressed by the care he received from a hospice facility in Maryland. She spent a lot of time talking with the staff and learned about volunteer opportunities for when she returned home. End of life planning was a topic that was prevalent and upon returning with her husband Mark to Fort Thomas, Peggy became a hospice volunteer with Hospice of the Bluegrass - now known as Bluegrass Care Navigators. She and Mark both filled out forms for living wills, medical power of attorney and had a long talk about their own wishes for end of life, including who would get his beloved Taylor guitar.  

Little did Eberhard know then that her husband Mark would die less than one year later in a motorcycle accident at age 51. With all the decisions in place, knowing Mark’s wishes was a great relief to Peggy.

Today Eberhard tells everyone she can to have "the talk.”

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"Let your loved ones know what you would want and find out what they want, said Eberhard. This includes people my age and even those much younger; single people; married people; people with or without kids; everyone."
Mark and Peggy Eberhard.

Fifteen years later, Eberhard is still active with Bluegrass Care Navigators as a member of their advisory board and still doing home visits, caring for and spending time with patients. 

This November 9,  Eberhard is assisting with a special event related to the topic she is so passionate about - end of life wishes.    

Studies show that half of us will not be able to communicate our wishes at the end of our life. 
Although it can be very difficult to talk about, experts agree it is necessary and very helpful to the family members left behind.

Attorney and founder of Elder Law Center in Newport Jan Kreutzer said, "Over the past thirty years, I have repeatedly witnessed families being torn apart after the death of a parent when the children disagree about how things should be handled. Most people just don't realize how much it will mean to their loved ones to have these matters resolved by having 'The Conversation' before it's too late."

Kreutzer specializes in elder law and will be a guest panelist at this free informational talk called  “The Conversation - It’s Never Too Early Until It’s Too Late.”  It will take place at the First Baptist Church, 4410 Alexandria Pike, in Cold Spring, Ky.

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The night will include a complimentary light dinner and an opportunity to pick up necessary forms, find out about advance planning and get tips on how to open up the conversation. 

Moderated by Mark Heyne from 91.7 WVXU, the program will feature eight panelists from a financial advisor and social workers to experts in the medical field. Informational exhibits will be on display before and after the program as well.

Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m.; and program from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
For more information or to register by November 3rd, call 859-414-5999.

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