Statewide program on May 31 helps aid people preparing living wills

Members of the public can get free help in preparing living wills - legal documents empowering loved ones to forgo or terminate life support for individuals unable to communicate themselves - during a free statewide program May 31.

The program is hosted by the Nevada Center for Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Nevada, Reno. It is being held in conjunction with "It's OK to Talk About Death Day," proclaimed by Gov. Kenny Guinn to encourage residents to be fully aware of end-of-life issues and the needs of dying people and their families.

The program for Nevadans 18 and older will be held at 37 locations from Reno to Boulder City, Ely to Zephyr Cove.

A team of volunteer professionals, from lawyers to health-care providers, will help attendees complete living wills at no charge and answer questions about death and dying.

Volunteers will provide a packet that will include a durable power of attorney document for health care and explain how to fill it out.

The document allows people to choose someone other than themselves to make health-care decisions and allows greater detail about their wishes for end-of-life care than is possible in a living will. The packet also will have information about palliative care - a full range of end-of-life care, including medical, emotional, social and spiritual needs - and a glossary of health-care terminology.

Program locations in the local area are:

Carson City

Carson City Library, 900 N. Roop St., 1:30-3 p.m.

Western Nevada Community College, 2201 W. College Parkway, Aspen Building, Sarah Winnemucca Room, 1:30-3 p.m.

Carson City Senior Center, 911 Beverly Way, 2-3:30 p.m.

Hispanic Services of Nevada (Spanish translator available), 637 South Stewart St., 9 a.m.-noon.

Fallon

Fallon Paiute/Shoshone Senior Center, 12885 Agency Road, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Churchill County Senior Center, 310 E. Court St., 1:30-3 p.m.

Gardnerville

Washoe Tribe Senior Center, 801 Peoples Way from 1:30-3 p.m.

Minden

Douglas County Public Library, 1625 Library Lane, 1:30-3 p.m.

Silver Springs

Silver Springs Senior Center, 1 Senior Center Drive, 1:30-3 p.m.

Yerington

Yerington Public Library, 20 Nevin Way, 1:30-3 p.m.

The Nevada Center for Ethics and Health Policy is funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For information, call 327-2309.

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