Dignity Memorial Paul Rice

Dignity Memorial is a multinational network of funeral homes with locations in nearly all 50 states, as well as every province of Canada. In our effort to provide the highest quality of care possible for the communities we proudly serve, we have established a number of valued national partnerships; amongst which are the VFW and the American Legion. A primary objective of our collaboration with these groups was to uncover what Dignity Memorial providers could do, in the process of serving veteran families, to make the difficult experience of losing a loved one simpler and easier.

Arguably, the development and institution of new policies and practices to achieve this goal was the most important result of our coordination with the VFW and American Legion. It was not, however, the only result... for as we worked with these organizations, we came to learn that approximately 80% of veterans are misinformed about their burial benefits. This startling figure was the principle motivation behind the launch our of Veteran’s Benefit Briefings.

These briefings are first and foremost a celebration of our nation’s heroes, wherein veteran families are invited to join us for a complimentary dinner in their honor. While gathered together, we take the time to inform those in attendance precisely what the VA does and does not provide, how to file for it, and what Dignity Memorial does to supplement those areas where the VA’s provisions are lacking.

At the conclusion of these meetings, we equip veterans with complimentary planning tools and resources, and offer them free consultations with our licensed advisors. These trained professionals take the time to meet with families to answer questions, fill out and file forms, and oversee the development and proper documentation of a plan of action in the event of a loss… for no one - veteran or otherwise - should ever have to walk through the doors of a funeral home unprepared and uninformed on one of life’s toughest days.

It’s our hope that you’ll take the time to pass this invitation along to a hero within your sphere of influence. It would be our honor and privilege, as a token of appreciation for the freedoms these men and women have protected, to help provide protection for those individuals our veteran’s hold most dear.

Sincerely, Paul Rice Director of Advanced Planning Dignity Memorial Paul.Rice@DignityMemorial.com 248-688-6367

What is The Right to Try Act? Rebecca Braun

It’s never a situation we plan to be in, but have you ever wondered what your options would be if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness? Unfortunately, many people are faced with this reality and up until last year, were often told there were no options. However, the Right to Try Act may have changed this for some individuals. In this blog post I will discuss the new law, how it could affect terminally ill patients, and how to ensure that your wishes are honored through an updated patient advocate designation (medical power of attorney).

History of the Act

On May 30, 2018, President Trump signed into law US Congress Senate Bill 204, known as the Right to Try Act. This law is designed to give terminally ill patients who have exhausted all other treatment options the choice of whether they would want to try an experimental drug which has not been approved by the FDA.

Prior to this law coming into effect only certain states allowed this type of use of non-FDA approved treatments. Often, terminally ill patients are not candidates for treatment trials, so they were being denied access to potentially beneficial drugs. The Right to Try Act (Section 561B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) created a Federal law requiring all States to allow access to potential breakthrough medications for terminally ill patients who meet certain qualifications. The Act was designed to expand the scope of individual liberties, giving patients the right to choose whether they are willing to take the risk of an unapproved treatment, if it may mean a better outcome for their condition.

Who Qualifies and What is a Qualifying Treatment Under the Act?

The Right to Try Act permits or allows eligible patients to have access to eligible investigational treatments. An eligible patient is a patient who has:

  • Been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or condition. Life-threatening disease or condition is defined under Federal law as: “Diseases or conditions where the likelihood of death is high unless the course of the disease is interrupted” (21 CFR 312.81);
  • Exhausted approved treatment options;
  • Is unable to participate in a clinical trial involving the eligible investigational drug. This must be certified by a physician who is in good standing with their licensing organization or board and who will not receive compensation directly from the manufacturer of the drug; and
  • Has provided, or their legally authorized representative (Patient Advocate or Guardian) has provided, written informed consent regarding the eligible investigational drug to the treating physician, An eligible investigational drug is a drug:
  • Is the subject of an active investigational new drug application; and
  • For which a Phase 1 clinical trial has been completed;
  • That has not been approved or licensed by the FDA for any use;
  • Which an application has been filed with the FDA or is under investigation in a clinical trial that is intended to form the primary basis of a claim of effectiveness in support of FDA approval or licensure;
  • Is the subject of an active investigational new drug application; and
  • Whose active development or production is ongoing, and that has not been discontinued by the manufacturer or placed on clinical hold by the FDA.

Ensuring Your Wishes are Honored

Whether you think you would want to try an experimental treatment or not, its important that your wishes are communicated. If you were to become incapacitated and no longer able to make treatment decisions for yourself, your patient advocate would do this on your behalf. Since the enactment of the Right to Try Act, we have included a section in our patient advocate document addressing this important issue. It allows you to state in writing whether you would want your patient advocate to consider experimental treatment options. Without providing this direction, your patient advocate may not know what you would want in such a situation. We believe that making your wishes known and ensuring you have properly drafted power of attorney documents is the most important piece of any estate plan. If you do not have these documents or would like older documents reviewed, please contact our office for a free telephone consultation. I will personally review your documents and give you an honest assessment of whether the documents will meet your needs.

The Silent Health Crisis Abigail Sigal

It’s no secret women live longer than men. Men are more likely to participate in unhealthy behavior and are less likely to take preventative measures. More than half of men’s untimely deaths are preventable.1 According to Dr. David Gremillion from Men’s Health Network, “There is a silent health crisis in America...it’s the fact that, on average, American men live sicker and die younger than American women.” This “silent health crisis” has prompted the United States to celebrate June as Men’s Health Month. The purpose is to create more awareness around men’s health problems and encourage early detection and treatment. It is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances and other health education and outreach.

Get regular checkups and screenings

Regular checkups and age-appropriate screenings can help improve men’s health. They may even help prevent premature death. Below is a list of common checkups and screenings and how often you should get them.3

Checkup or Screening - How often to go
Physical exam - Every year after 50
Blood pressure - Every year after 50
TB skin test - Every 5 years
Blood tests and urinalysis - Every year after 50
EKG - Every year after 50
Rectal exam - Every year
PSA blood test - Every year after 50
Hemoccult - Every year after 40
Colorectal health - Every 3 to 4 years after 50
Chest x-ray - Discuss regularly with your physician after 40
Self-exams (testicles) - Monthly
Bone health - Discuss with a physician after age 60br
Testosterone screening - Discuss with a physician after age 40
*Adapted from http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/pdfs/GetItChecked.pdf

Use your SilverSneakers benefit to stay healthy Getting regular checkups and screenings may help prevent diseases or catch them early if they do occur. Being physically active is another way to prevent many of these issues. In fact, as you age, healthy eating and exercise can:4
• help prevent disease and injury
• increase mental sharpness
• assist in faster recovery
• give energy levels a boost
• improve immune system function
• help manage chronic health problems

SilverSneakers®, provided by more than 70 insurance companies including BlueCross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network Advantage, Humana and Aetna to name a few offers classes5 at participating locations6 across the nation, and community parks and recreation centers right in your neighborhood. Or, you can exercise with SilverSneakers On-DemandTM in your own living room. Either way, you’re moving and that’s good! In fact, 88 percent of participants say SilverSneakers improved their quality of life.7

Go to SilverSneakers.com to get your ID number or find convenient locations. Download the SilverSneakers GOTM app for adjustable workout programs tailored to individual fitness levels, schedule reminders for favorite activities, find convenient locations and more.

Footnotes and Legal
Always talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
1. http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/blueprint.pdf
2. http://www.menshealthmonth.org/
3. http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/pdfs/GetItChecked.pdf
4. http://www.menshealthresourcecenter.com/aging-seniors/
5. Membership includes SilverSneakers instructor-led group fitness classes. Some locations offer members additional classes. Classes vary by location.
6. Participating locations (“PL”) are not owned or operated by Tivity Health, Inc. or its affiliates. Use of PL facilities and amenities is limited to terms and conditions of PL basic membership. Facilities and amenities vary by PL.
7. 2017 SilverSneakers Annual Participant Survey
SilverSneakers is a registered trademark of Tivity Health, Inc. SilverSneakers On-Demand and SilverSneakers GO are trademarks of Tivity Health, Inc. © 2019 Tivity Health, Inc. All rights reserved. SSFP8091JUNENWSLTR0319