Leavitt Funeral Home to hold free workshop

PARKERSBURG – Leavitt Funeral Home will hold a free workshop in observance of National Healthcare Decisions Day from 6-7:30 p.m. April 17 at the Leavitt Family Center, 620 Avery St.

The workshop features Aging with Dignity’s Five Wishes, America’s most popular living will. The documents are easy to use and deal with personal, family and spiritual matters, medical and legal and concerns.

Five Wishes also is a value tool for beginning often difficult family discussions.

“It’s understandable that people would put off discussing the topic of serious illness and death, but it’s essential to have this family conversation in advance,” Jon Leavitt., co-owner and funeral director at Leavitt Funeral Home, said. “It’s a discussion that should take place in the living room, not in the hospital waiting room when it may be too late.”

National Healthcare Decision Day, observed in April, is aimed at increasing the number of Americans who have completed an advance directive or living will in which they name the person who will make medical decisions for them if they become a seriously ill and can’t speak for themselves. Experts say only 20 percent to 30 percent of Americans have completed an advance directive even though everyone 18 and older should have some.

The Five Wishes documents are met the legal requirements of 42 states and useful in those states that still require state forms and mandatory notices.