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End of Life Care

Talking About Death - When Do We Begin?

Erin Coriell | Posted 08.21.2015 | Impact
Erin Coriell

It is never too soon to befriend this mysterious, unpredictable life experience that we will all undergo. Many of us cheat ourselves out of fully living life by refusing to discuss death until we absolutely have to. It's impossible to experience the richness of life when we subconsciously cling to it.

Ending With Love: A Father-Daughter Dance With Dementia

Valerie Kausen | Posted 08.17.2015 | Arts
Valerie Kausen

Spending extended periods of time in memory care facilities has brought the issue into my awareness and understanding in a way that I was blind to in the past. It's hard. It's expensive. It's easy to deny what is happening.

Am I Courageous or a Coward, to End Life at 75?

Carol Marak | Posted 08.05.2015 | Fifty
Carol Marak

The following is my interpretation of a family member's journey to find peace with dying. I was close by with my sister and brother-in-law while they struggled to find a cure. I watched, listened, and gave support. The path to cancer remission is hard, and I honor those who fight it.

There's A New Focus On End-Of-Life Care And Counseling In 40 States

Pew's Stateline | Paige Lavender | Posted 08.05.2015 | Politics

This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline. Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides d...

Compassion and Empathy at the End of Life: Advanced Care Planning Takes a Giant Step Forward

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 07.17.2015 | Politics
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

On July 8, 2015, Medicare took a significant step towards helping people make the right decisions for their care by proposing to pay in 2016 for physicians who spend at least 30 minutes discussing and documenting patient preferences and values at the end of life that may be used to guide decisions for Advanced Directives.

How Washington D.C. Can Improve Care for Patients at the End of Life

Walter Smith | Posted 07.16.2015 | DC
Walter Smith

A MOST -- called a MOLST or POLST in other places -- guides conversations between a patient and the patient's medical team about specific treatment options and interventions in light of the expected course of the condition.

Helping Physicians to Do the Right Thing

Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH | Posted 07.15.2015 | Politics
Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 is one of the most impressive changes to our healthcare system since the introduction of Medicare in 1965. But Sarah Palin's "death panel" hysteria forced President Obama to remove a crucial piece of his original proposal, rendering it less effective.

Jeffrey Young

Medicare's New End-Of-Life Planning Proposal Will Make Sarah Palin's Head Explode

HuffingtonPost.com | Jeffrey Young | Posted 07.08.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Physicians would be paid to discuss end-of-life options with Medicare patients who want their wishes spelled out in advance under a regu...

Right-To-Die Advocates Face Strong Opposition From Catholics

The Associated Press | FENIT NIRAPPIL | Posted 07.08.2015 | Religion

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Legislation that would allow California physicians to help terminally ill patients end their lives has met strong oppositi...

Why Forgiveness Is The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself

Susan R. Dolan | Posted 06.30.2015 | Fifty
Susan R. Dolan

As Jack's mother grew weaker, another little hospice miracle unfolded: it seemed that the weaker Jack's mother became, the sweeter she became. She stopped cursing her son and began to melt the ice she had packed around her heart.

Social Model Hospice Homes May Revolutionize End-of-Life Care in the U.S.

Karen M. Wyatt, M.D. | Posted 06.23.2015 | Impact
Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

The "social model" hospice home, an uncommon prototype for hospice care, may have great promise for resolving some future end-of-life issues in the U....

6 Caregiver Tips for Turning a Slow Death Into a Slow Dance

Deborah J. Cornwall | Posted 06.18.2015 | Healthy Living
Deborah J. Cornwall

Choices made before a loved one's death don't neutralize the need to grieve for what's being lost, but they can make a huge difference in the pace and depth of caregivers' healing thereafter.

An Unexpected Father's Day Gift

Angelo Volandes | Posted 06.15.2015 | Healthy Living
Angelo Volandes

This is medicine's version of not seeing the forest for the trees. The vascular surgeon and cardiologist could repair my father's body, but how would that benefit him? Could he go on living in a way that was meaningful for him? Instead of searching for the next "fix," we need to know when to use -- or not use -- our growing tool kit of "fixes."

What's Funny About Dying?

Susan R. Dolan | Posted 05.11.2015 | Fifty
Susan R. Dolan

Many dying patients cling to a zest for life and a sense of humor that endear them to hospice workers.

Advance Directives 2.0

Angelo Volandes | Posted 06.27.2015 | Healthy Living
Angelo Volandes

Most of the time, patients have named someone with whom they have not discussed their health care wishes. I often find myself talking about decisions with a son or daughter who never had a conversation with their parents about what they wanted.

What One Woman Learned After Caring For Her Husband Through Lung Cancer

Posted 04.07.2015 | Healthy Living

In 2005, Laura and her husband Tim opened a bakery in Ypsilanti, Michigan, fulfilling a lifelong goal of Tim's. In July 2012, Tim was diagnosed with s...

The 2 Truths I've Learned After Working Decades In Hospice

Susan R. Dolan | Posted 05.23.2015 | Fifty
Susan R. Dolan

After spending hours at the bedside of my precious Grandma Daisy, I stepped out of her room to make a brief telephone call. At that moment, Grandma Daisy died. When I began working in hospice, I witnessed similar experiences.

Falling in Love With the Elderly and Rediscovering Our Purpose

Tajci Cameron | Posted 05.10.2015 | Healthy Living
Tajci Cameron

What does waking up to the life we are created to live have to do with falling in love with the elderly? On first thought, not so much. On second, e...

Why One Woman With Lung Cancer Photographed Herself Every Day For A Year

The Huffington Post | Erin Schumaker | Posted 02.24.2015 | Healthy Living

In 2013, Jennifer Glass was diagnosed with stage IIIB lung cancer. To help document her life, she took a photo every day and then, in March 2014, she ...

How to Write an Ethical Will: A Love Letter to Future Generations

Susan R. Dolan | Posted 04.19.2015 | Fifty
Susan R. Dolan

An ethical will is used to pass on personal values, beliefs, blessings, and advice to future generations. It is a way to tell stories and share your memories.

4 Powerful Lessons About Life I Learned As A Hospice Worker

Dawn Q Landau | Posted 04.12.2015 | Fifty
Dawn Q Landau

As a Hospice volunteer, I spend every Tuesday with people who are dying. I cook their meals; hold their hands; read to them; I sing and I sit quietly. I tell them stories and I listen to theirs. I wipe their foreheads, when fever or illness makes them sweat.

Dead of Winter -- End of Life With Lightness

Gerit Quealy | Posted 04.07.2015 | Healthy Living
Gerit Quealy

So, violent death we're used to... but natural death? Shhh, don't talk about that. Don't acknowledge it. Try to prevent it. Outlive it, outrun it, outsmart it. Stick a tube or a wire or a needle into it stat!

Dying: A Human Touch

Mindy Utay | Posted 03.30.2015 | Healthy Living
Mindy Utay

I was fortunate that nature allowed me the chance to give Phoebe a peaceful death, and that has brought me peace in return. But I wonder about the human deaths that are coming, my own and those of the people I love. Will I have the grace to be there for them at their final breath?

Final Arrangements Should Be Made Sooner Rather Than Later

Marie Marley | Posted 01.27.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

No one wants to make arrangements for the death of a terminally ill friend or family member. It's painful to think about any loved one's eventual passing, but it's important to make the arrangements sooner rather than later. In fact, it's best to do it when you first learn your loved one has a terminal diagnosis. Why?

Pass the Peas and Give Me Your Keys: Having 'That' Conversation

Susan R. Dolan | Posted 01.25.2015 | Fifty
Susan R. Dolan

"You've always been there for us, Dad. Now I need your help. I'd rather that we have these conversations now, in the comfort of your living room, rather than at two o'clock in the morning in the emergency room."