Tip-Toeing Toward Conversations About Death

Having a conversation about the way you want to die can be uncomfortable. But that means many of us aren’t ready when our parents, spouse or children face a startling diagnosis or have a tragic accident. And how about for yourself? Do you have a health proxy, someone who knows what to tell doctors if you are unconscious? More.

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For Indian Americans, Need Grows for Culturally-Sensitive Palliative Care

As the South Asian American community increasingly deals with health problems among its growing and aging senior population, more of these types of cases are likely to occur. These families are feeling the stress related to end-of-life decision-making. More.

Futile Treatment Given Some as End-of-Life Aid in Intensive Care

Some intensive-care patients receive expensive treatments that don’t prolong life while increasing pain and suffering, a study found.

About 11 percent of critical-care patients at the University of California, Los Angeles, health-care system received what researchers termed futile treatment, the majority dying within six months while still in the hospital, according to a study released today in JAMA Internal Medicine. The cost of treatment was $2.6 million over three months, researchers said. More

 

For many dying elderly, aggressive cancer treatment despite their wish

TAMPA — Most seniors with terminal cancer say they want to die at home or in a hospice, surrounded by loved ones, not high- tech medical heroics.

Yet a new study finds many of them spend their final days in hospital intensive care units, or leave the hospital only a few days before they die.

What’s more, researchers from the famed Dartmouth Atlas Group found, where you live may have a lot to do with what happens to you.

More.

Dispelling myths about hospice

In Recognition of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, Oct. 12, the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance and its partners are focusing on “dispelling the myths,” and encouraging people to promote the facts about hospice and palliative care.

Also, advocates, patients and caregivers want to improve access to palliative care for people with life-limiting conditions by integrating palliative care into existing services.

To ensure all those with life-limiting conditions are cared for with dignity and according to their wishes, Terrace Hospice Society is asking for integrated hospice and palliative care health services.

A few myths and the facts about hospice and palliative care are found here.

Where’s That Advance Care Directive?

Nancy Wagner, a social worker at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J., encounters this frustration at least once a week: A patient arrives in the emergency room and tells the inquiring staff that yes, she has indeed prepared and signed an advance directive. But, well, she doesn’t have it with her.

On one recent Monday, it happened twice. More.

After an ICU stay, cognitive loss is common, study says

Two-thirds of patients sick enough to land in a hospital intensive care unit come away from the experience with substantial mental deficits, a new study has found.

The new research, which quantifies a phenomenon long observed by critical-care physicians, found that three months after leaving the hospital, 4 in 10 patients continue to have cognitive problems on a par with those seen in cases of moderate traumatic brain injury. And more than a quarter experience a decline in mental function akin to that seen in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease, the study says.

For 58% of patients who’ve experienced a stay in the ICU, those intellectual deficits are still there a year after they have been released from the hospital, the study found. More.

Dispelling myths about hospice

In Recognition of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, Oct. 12, the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance and its partners are focusing on “dispelling the myths,” and encouraging people to promote the facts about hospice and palliative care.

Also, advocates, patients and caregivers want to improve access to palliative care for people with life-limiting conditions by integrating palliative care into existing services.

To ensure all those with life-limiting conditions are cared for with dignity and according to their wishes, Terrace Hospice Society is asking for integrated hospice and palliative care health services.

A few myths and the facts about hospice and palliative care are found here.

Why Are Latinos Not Using Palliative and Hospice Care?

SAN JOSE, Calif.–As the Hispanic population continues to grow in the United States– and grow older–so do their needs. Without changes, aging Latinos are reaching the end of their lives unprepared spiritually or financially.

Some experts believe that the shift needs to happen from within the community, while others say it is a matter of poor cultural sensitivity from service providers. Read more of this post