“‘It’s sad he was feeling in such a desperate place in the end,’ says Lorie Juno of her father, Larry Anders.” / DARREN HAUCK / KAISER HEALTH NEWS
by Melissa Bailey and Jonel Aleccia – KAISER HEALTH NEWS
“When Larry Anders moved into the Bay at Burlington nursing home in late 2017, he wasn’t supposed to be there long. At 77, the stoic Wisconsin machinist had just endured the death of his wife of 51 years and a grim new diagnosis: throat cancer, stage 4.
“His son and daughter expected him to stay two weeks, tops, before going home to begin chemotherapy. From the start, they were alarmed by the lack of care at the center, where, they said, staff seemed indifferent, if not incompetent — failing to check on him promptly, handing pills to a man who couldn’t swallow.
“Anders never mentioned suicide to his children, who camped out day and night by his bedside to monitor his care.
“But two days after Christmas, alone in his nursing home room, Anders killed himself. He didn’t leave a note.”
Several weeks ago, a Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner (Thank you Link partner, you know who you are!) gave us this page from the February 9/10 Weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal. Here’s a link to the Wall Street Journal article, but you’ll have to sign in or subscribe to read it in full.
We’ve reproduced it below; admittedly it’s a scan and hard to read. Here’s another link to an article about the article at the John A. Hartman Foundation.
Click here to open a .pdf file of a home-made scan of part of the article that may (largely) be readable because you can enlarge it.
National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16 | it’s about the importance of advance care planning … for everyone!
“National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.”
“Across the country, every healthcare facility will participate as the flagship venues for the public engagement. Other participating organizations/facilities that have their own physical spaces will engage in activities as well. Those organizations that lack physical spaces will work in conjunction with others or at non-healthcare venues (libraries, grocery stores, drug stores, etc.) to support the initiative. A variety of churches, synagogues, and mosques around the country will also support the effort by highlighting the importance of advance care planning with their congregations.”
Why do we need a National Healthcare Decisions Day?
“Obituary Writing 101 | Tips for creating a meaningful farewell for someone, or for yourself” – next avenue
by Deborah Quilter
“Have you ever read a friend’s obituary and had any of these reactions?: You cannot reconcile the person described with what was written about him or her; the events summarized did not constitute what your loved one considered important in life and instead of capturing the essence of the deceased’s colorful personality, it painted a beige picture with tired platitudes that the departed would have loathed.
“Or have you ever been charged with writing an obituary for someone and realized with rising panic that you have absolutely no idea where he went to school, when he lived in certain cities or what he would consider important to include? Imagine doing this under deadline and the stress of mourning.
Come to a FREE LUNCH & LEARN “Let’s write my Obituary” on Friday, April 5 (details below – click on the image to enlarge.
“Many boomers decide to spare friends this experience and take matters into their own hands. With a little guidance, you can come up with a summing-up you can be proud of. Even if you don’t want to write a full-fledged obit, you can make that task less onerous for someone else by leaving valuable leads.”
Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.
Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth..
“New clinical practice guidelines for palliative care have been released by the National Consensus Project, with support from John A. Hartford Association (JAHF) for the evidence review. They include tools, resources and examples to give patients and their caregivers relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illness, based on need, not prognosis. The guidelines urge all health care professionals and organizations to integrate palliative care into their services across settings.
“Palliative care is the best friend of the seriously ill,” said JAHF Senior Program Officer Amy Berman.”
Click here or on the graphic to download the guidelines.
“Contributing factors: health inequity, discrimination and lack of cultural competency”
Credit: Adobe Stock
by Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez
“Jodi Savage was her grandmother’s caretaker in her last days. Like many black Americans, her grandmother’s cultural beliefs and religious background led to very little discussion around the end of life. Culturally speaking, black Americans on the whole tend to avoid discussing end-of-life topics for fear of speaking things into existence. Focus is placed on making the best of the time you’re given. A lack of cultural competency from physicians led to a misunderstanding of Savage’s grandmother’s needs and minimal support through the death-planning process. Savage endured all of this while trying to remain strong as her grandmother battled Alzheimer’s.
“Savage wasn’t prepared for the process of making such impactful decisions on her grandmother’s behalf. No one assisted her with end-of-life planning during the process of caretaking, and she didn’t discuss end-of-life care until the night before her grandmother died.”
Part of the LIVING TO THE END OF LIFE SPECIAL REPORT
(Editor’s note: This content is provided by The John A. Hartford Foundation, a Next Avenue sponsor.)
American Bar Association | Advance Directives Counseling Guide for Lawyers (and healthcare professionals)
The American Bar Association has released this guide specifically for lawyers and health care professionals to align the practice of advance care planning in legal offices with the realities of implementation in health settings entitled, “Advance Directives: Counseling Guide for Lawyers.”