At Gerald Chinchar’s home in San Diego, Calif., Nurse Sheri Juan (right) checks his arm for edema that might be a sign that his congestive heart failure is getting worse. – Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News
“Gerald Chinchar, a Navy veteran who loves TV Westerns, isn’t quite at the end of his life, but the end is probably not far away. The 77-year-old’s medications fill a dresser drawer, and congestive heart failure puts him at high risk of emergency room visits and long hospital stays. He fell twice last year, shattering his hip and femur, and now gets around his San Diego home in a wheelchair.
“Above all, Chinchar hopes to avoid another long stint in the hospital. He still likes to go watch his grandchildren’s sporting events and play blackjack at the casino.
“‘If they told me I had six months to live, or [could instead] go to the hospital and last two years, I’d say leave me home,’ he said. ‘That ain’t no trade for me.’
“Most aging people would choose to stay home in their last years of life. But for many, it doesn’t work out:” Click here to continue reading this NPR article.