Filed under end of life

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

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Dementia

Adult children and their parents who are inveterate readers of fiction, especially prize-winning fiction, may want to read two posts at VOXXI (Hispanic Voice of the 21st Century) about Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The two posts are related and inter-connected, examining the tragedy of a great Nobel prize-winning writer who begins to suffer from memory problems, … 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

Jane Gross on NPR’s Tell Me More

If you missed the Michel Martin’s Tell Me More on Monday, January 23, 2012, head over to the program’s website to hear Jane Gross talk about her book, A Bittersweet Season: Caring For Our Aging Parents and Ourselves. Her conversation covered a broad range of aging parent-adult child topics including Medicare, financial problems, end-of life issues, … 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

Eleanor Clift Writes About Hospice

Journalist Eleanor Clift has written a superb article in the August 2011 publication Health Affairs about the hospice experience of her husband, journalist Tony Brazaitis, in the months before he died of cancer. It’s freely available and filled with astute observations and information — a good read for anyone, but especially for families who may have to … 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

Remembrances: Keeping Memories Alive

How can we remember a loved one and all of the cherished memories? In other blog posts I’ve described how my family went about writing remembrances and obituaries, and I’ve seen a number of wonderful media presentations sharing pictures, video, and spoken tributes. One good friend hosted a hymn-sing remembrance, an evening of friends singing and … Continue reading