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End-of-Life Recommendations as Former First Lady Barbara Bush Faces Health Struggles

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- It’s one of the most difficult decisions families ever have to make: what to do about end-of-life care.

Social workers at Timber Ridge Health Care Center in Plains Township said if you can, it’s important to have a plan in place.

“As someone who has lost their dad, I can honestly say when my dad died and he said, 'This is what I want,' I knew I did the right thing,” social worker Danielle Griffith said.

Family members of former first lady Barbara Bush said she has decided to receive comfort care over staying at the hospital.

At 92, she is fighting off chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure.

Social workers said conversations about end-of-life care come up a lot.

“We're getting people who are very sick. Sometimes they have cancer. They have COPD and CHF like Barbara Bush has, and so it comes up all the time,” social worker Kim Barker said.

Social workers said what is most important is remembering what your family member wants out of life.

“When you help a family member understand that death is part of life and you're following through with that wish, it helps that family understand and maybe come to terms better,” Griffith said.

Staff at Timber Ridge contract with several hospice care providers to make certain that residents are made a comfortable as possible.