Citrus Memorial Hospital 

Some of the most important decisions effecting our lives will be made by others when we are at our most medically vulnerable.

Only about a third of Americans have some kind of advance directive spelling out what medical treatments they wanted if they were unable to make those decisions later for themselves.

That’s according a study published in Health Affairs in which researchers reviewed five years-worth of studies and 800,000 adults. Of those, only 37% had some kind of advance directive or living will.  

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To help remedy that, Citrus Memorial Hospital is offering an hour-long presentation with questions and answers about advanced care planning and explanations about how you can ensure you get the medical care you want if you are unable to.

The presentation will focus on advanced directives, including living wills, health care surrogate designations, and organ donations. Documentations will be provided at the lecture.

The presentation will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at the YMCA, 4127 W. County Road 486, Lecanto.

“92% of Americans say it’s important to have critical conversations about advanced directives but only 32% of Americans have actually had them,” said registered nurse Karen Barlow, who will be giving the lecture.

“These conversations should be happening at home with loved ones long before end-of-life care is on the horizon,” she told the Chronicle. “Talking about advanced directives with loved ones now will help ensure your wishes are understood and respected when the time comes.”

The Health Affairs study also reported that people 65 years old and older were more likely to complete an advance directive than younger people. About 46% of seniors have an advance directive. Less than a third of younger people have one, according to the Health Affairs study.

Seating is limited at the YMCA event. To register, call 352-637-3337 or visit

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at or 352-397-5914.