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Preparing for death

Dear Editor:My wife has just recently passed away, due to a long-term illness. Fortunately, it was not unexpected, and we had time to plan ahead. I would like to pass on some advice and experiences to the readers.The first and most important is to plan ahead with your loved one. Find out what their wishes are, and make decisions together while you have a clear mind; to do it at the last moment can be a terrible burden, to say nothing of the guilt you might have afterwards.Valley View Hospital has a booklet called “Five Wishes.” It is an absolutely wonderful booklet. It covers whom you want to make medical decisions for you if you are unable, the medical treatment you want or don’t want, how comfortable you want to be, how you want to be treated and what you want your loved ones to know. It also goes over your funeral arrangements and organ donations, and obtaining a medical power of attorney.As far as funeral arrangements, there is more than one game in town. I saved about 50 percent by looking in the phone book. I called Cochran Funeral home in Rifle. Ron Cochran went out of his way to help me in my time of need (this was during the recent snowstorm). He came to the hospital and to my home twice. He gave me a simple, easy-to-understand, no-hidden-costs plan. With the other funeral parlor, I had to go there three different times before I could speak to someone. Then, they wanted me to sign a long contract in which they were going to charge me for services that I did not want and was not going to receive.I would also like to thank Alpine Home Health; for years they had nurses and home health aides coming out. I really cannot begin to say enough about them. Thank you!I would also like to thank the wonderful staff at Valley View Hospital, from the doctors to the nurses and technicians, they were absolutely wonderful.Len BokenkoSnowmass


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