While a living will is not a topic most baby boomers want to discuss, it is a necessity in times of crisis. Today’s baby boomer generation focuses on the here and now with the goal of staying healthy, fit and young. But tragedy does strike and a living will could make the difference in how you leave this world. A living will, or an end of life plan, specifies what you want and what you don’t want to happen in the event you are critically injured, like in a car accident, or succomb to a terminal illness.
It is surprising that 41percent of baby boomers do not have a will to protect their families, pets and assets. Now an Associated Press /LifeGoesStrong.com poll has found that 64 percent do no have a living will or a health proxy. It is alarming that over half of this country’s baby boomer population, now age 50+, does not have an end of life plan. Leaving your final decisions to family members or friends without vocalizing them and putting them in writing can be problemmatic for you and your family.
A living will, also known as an advanced directive, is a legal document specifying what type of medical intervention you want if you become incapacitated and are unable to communicate your wishes to the doctor. A health care proxy, according to CNSnews.com, 'allows an individual to select a person he or she trusts to make decisions about medical care should the patient become incapacitated.'
A living will spells out what you want. As an example, do you want to be kept alive on a breathing machine? If you will no longer have a good quality of life, do you want to be resuscitated? Most baby boomers know what they want and what they would don’t want in these situations, but if it is not put in writing and shared with others, it won’t help you if the need arises.
So why are baby boomers reluctant to make a living will? For one thing, their priority is the here and now. Baby boomers feel young, energized and focused on being healthy and physically fit to stay youthful. This generation embraces longevity and many can expect to live well into their late 80s and early 90s. Boomers don’t want to think about something that is years away; they don’t want to think about the eventuality of death. Thus, they do not plan for it.
But baby boomers need to plan for it. Accidents happen every day and many are fatal. Illnesses strike without warning. No one lives forever. An end of life plan gives the baby boomer control, makes a difference in how he or she leaves this world and eases the pain for the family members and friends left behind.