Filed under end of life decisions

Jane Gross Lecture on Caregiving and Her Family

Last fall Jane Gross, journalist and author of A Bittersweet Season, spoke about her experiences supporting and caring for her elderly mother. The presentation at Brethren Village, a retirement community in Lancaster, PA, shares observations, experiences, things she wishes she had done, and much more.

Oliver Sacks’ Perspective on the End of His Life

The direction of every life can change in a moment. We learn this as we age and also as we support elder parents. In his February 19, 2015, New York Times’ opinion piece, My Own Life, Dr. Oliver Sacks illustrates how fast things can change. If you missed his article, it’s a stirring description of what it’s like to … Continue reading

End of Life Choices

In June 2010 I read a chilling New York Times Magazine article, What Broke My Father’s Heart, by Katy Butler, who described how her father’s heart outlived his brain because a pacemaker kept chugging along. It kept going despite that the rest of his body, due to dementia, was giving up and shutting down. Butler … Continue reading

Longer Old Age but Lower Quality Near the End?

A few days ago I added a must read link to Michael Wolff’s New York Magazine article, A Life Worth Ending. It’s an eye-opening piece, detailing long drawn-out decline of his mother. Check it out — it really is a must read. For our parents there are no easy end-of-life answers. Those of us with … Continue reading

The Over-Medicalization of Aging

At what point, as we age, do we become accepting of aches and pains –aging that is — and stop thinking about rushing to a physician all of the time? How do we decide whether or not to fix a problem if it has more to do with the later years of our life than … Continue reading

New Health Care Directive Registry in Virginia

In case you missed this news on December 7, 2011, you may want to learn more about the new Virginia health care directive registry. It’s a free service. This article, Virginia Announces Free Online Health Care Registry, appeared on Richmond’s NBC News 12 site and explains more. The Virginia Department of Health, working in a … Continue reading

End-of-Life Documents — Don’t Mess Around

Many years ago, shortly after my daughter was born, my parents asked my husband and me about our will. It turned out, however, that they were less concerned about a will than they were about whether we had signed medical directives or health care proxies that defined what should be done is case one of us, … Continue reading

The Palliative Care Tent: How to Invite People In?

The Los Angeles Times published an October 24, 2011 article,  The Promise and Pitfalls of Palliative Care, by Melissa Healy. In her article Healy describes how palliative care helps people who are very ill and need to manage everything from their pain to living their lives with quality. These programs also support families. The author also … Continue reading

Hospice Helps When a Parent With Dementia is Dying

Sometimes acquaintances describe how a hospice program entered the lives of an aging parent during the last week or even in the last few days of life. My husband and I are aware of just how much hospice offered to our family during the four months before his mother died. However, we have spoken with people — who … Continue reading

Washington Post Article on Hospice and Palliative Care

Today’s Washington Post features an article, Progress Needed on End of Life Care, by Janice Lynch Schuster, describing the urgent need for improvements to palliative and  hospice care. The article describes the problems that still exist for many patients at the end of their lives who experience unnecessary suffering and pain. I’ve written about our … Continue reading

End-of-Life Conversations

Over at the Inside Aging Parent blog, Carol recently posted Conversations About End of Life with a link to a BlogTalk radio program interviewing author Kelsey Collins (check out Collin’s videos presentations). I have just listened to the program so I recommend checking out Carol’s post and the radio interview. In her book Exit Strategy:  Leaving this Life with … Continue reading

Check out the “Be the Noodle” Review

While I was intently focused on my Green House posts last week, Inside Aging Parent Care posted a terrific review of Be TheNoodle by Lois Kelly. What I love about this book is the noodle support metaphor. When the summer waters are rough in my beloved St. Lawrence River, a noodle is just the ticket … Continue reading

Hospice: More Days to Say “We Love You”

Thank you hospice. Since reading Dr. Atul Gwande’s New Yorker Magazine article, Letting Go, a piece that describes the end of life (see my recent posting about this article), I’ve been thinking a lot about our hospice experience with a program in Northern Virginia. For some time I’ve wanted to write about those four months, … Continue reading

End-of-Life: Another Form!

In the July 18, 2010 New Old Age Blog Paula Span reports on yet another form we need to fill out if we want the most control at the end of our lives. Her article, A Final Prescription describes the POLST form, though the name may be different from state-to-state.  A individual completes this form … Continue reading

Caregiving Orientation Publication

The Osher Center for integrative Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) has published an amazing book, Orientation to Caregiving: A Handbook for Family Caregivers of Patients with Serious Illness. This comprehensive, 68-page publication, aimed at families caring for a family member with a serious illness, is just as applicable to adult children who are … Continue reading

End of Life Decisions

My post, Aging Parents: Research on End-of-Life Decisions, discussed the University of Michigan study that evaluated how a person’s end-of-life decisions are taken into consideration by hospitals and medical personnel. Pauline Chen, MD, in her regular New York Times column, also wrote about this research, sharing a personal story about her father-in-law’s death. The article … Continue reading