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Monday, July 15, 2024

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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure build-up a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Health care decision planning important for CT residents

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Friday, April 19, 2024   

With Alzheimer's cases on the rise in Connecticut, experts say people should consider early health care planning.

A new report shows around 77,000 of Connecticut's 65 and older residents were diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2020.

Jessica Empeño, national director of clinical engagement and education for Compassion & Choices, noted the figure is below other estimates, but understanding a person's care wishes is a good first step. She added it isn't just about the big things, but the little ones, too.

"Being able to look out the window and have my coffee in my favorite mug every morning is what's important to me, right?" Empeño suggested. "It can start with those little things that help people understand who you are and what you hope for in your final phase of life."

Compassion & Choices' Dementia Values and Priorities tool is online. It helps people document their health care wishes before developing dementia or an illness affecting their decision-making abilities. Empeño thinks people should update their plans every five to 10 years, rather than creating them just once.

Not having a person's wishes creates challenges since they may not want certain treatments. People might delay planning because it can be hard to have the conversations. Empeño acknowledged misconceptions can also make it difficult to plan health care.

"In planning, a lot of people don't realize that if they move, or if they're traveling frequently, or receiving care in other states, that you might need to have more than one advance directive," Empeño pointed out. "That is not something that is really often known or discussed."

She added education is an essential part of health care planning. People should research what treatment options are right for them, medications, and side effects. A common mistake in health care planning is completing an advance directive but not telling anyone about it.

Disclosure: Compassion & Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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"I truly love our Country, and love you all, and look forward to speaking to our Great Nation this week from Wisconsin," wrote Former President Donald Trump on social media. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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