Filling Out Living Wills at Work

It's a subject many of us don't like to think about, but the case involving Terri Schiavo has caused many of us to consider end of life decisions. Filling out a living will may become as routine as applying for health benefits.

Candi Nelson says having her mother fill out a living will has taken a tremendous burden off her shoulders.

"I already can envision holding her hand and saying good-bye and enjoying that moment and remembering her dying without the stress some families go through," says Candi.

The most well known family to face that stress is Terri Schiavo's. Her parents' legal battle to keep their daughter alive has caused a dramatic increase in people requesting living wills.

“Orders are up by 10 fold. People all over the country are telling us how heartbreaking this situation is for all those who care about Ms. Schiavo,” says Paul Malley.

Even with all the publicity about the Schiavo case, still only one in five people has a living will. That's why Aging with Dignity is now focusing on the workplace. They want to make filling out a living will just as routine as applying for a 401K.

"Companies offering five wishes do see the benefit. They say it's just as valuable as other benefits provided to employees," says Paul Malley.

Sen. Bill Nelson is sponsoring legislation for end of life Consultations to be part of Medicare services. It's an issue Candi Nelson is glad she faced while there was time.

Terri Schiavo's case has brought this difficult subject out in the open, and now many more people are dealing with it before it's too late. To find out more about "Five Wishes" call 1-888-5-wishes (594-7437). Individual copies are $5.00.