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'Some might think it morbid, but to me it's the opposite'

'Some might think it's morbid but To me, it's the opposite'"You don't get to my age without having a few ailments," says mum-of-two Niamh Walker (68), right, who lives in Tallaght, Dublin.

"So while I'm generally in good health, I have made a will, signed an advanced care directive including a DNR [do not resuscitate] order and even have the attic cleared out. I've also made my family and friends aware of my wishes.

"Some people might think it's a bit morbid. To me, it's the opposite. Having your affairs in order gives you great peace of mind.

"Now, I'm free to spend my retirement doing things I enjoy, like reading or going to the movies. Both of my sons live abroad, and down the line, I hope they'll look on it as gift that they didn't have to wonder what I wanted.

"One thing I haven't planned, though, is my funeral. That's for them to memorialise me however they wish.

"Close to the end, I'm sure I'll be frightened. But I have no regrets. I've lived a very full life and am very clear about the fact that I don't want undue medical intervention to sustain me for another few weeks or hours.

"My advice to anyone who hasn't made a will yet is to do it while you're young and healthy. If you had a stroke and were unable to write or speak, how would you communicate your wishes then? Talking about death isn't going to bring it any closer. When the time comes, my attitude is, beam me up, Scotty!"

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