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Health

More elderly people making plans for their final days

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Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio

There’s been a big jump in the number of elderly people making living wills and other end-of-life directives.

Dr. Maria Silveira is a University of Michigan researcher. She says between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of elderly Americans with living wills or who gave a loved one power of attorney in health matters rose from 47% to 72%.

Silveira says the change may reflect different generational attitudes.

“I think this generation of older folks, Baby Boomers in particular, are more inclined to take charge,” says Silveira.

As a physician, Silveira says she prefers working with a person given power of attorney to make medical decisions for a loved one.

She says living wills sometimes don’t address important issues. 

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