Category Archives: End-of-life issues

The cost of dying in the US approaches $20,000

According to this report at self.inc dying is not an inexpensive state in the US.

“We know that death and finances is not a topic people want to discuss, but it is something people should be aware of. Funerals, cremations, and medical costs are expensive and can be a surprisingly large bill.

“We wanted to analyze the true cost of dying in each state based on official data to find out just how much people are having to spend at an incredibly difficult time for many.”

cost-of-dying-breakdown-average-american

“The national average cost of dying for all states is $19,565.80, this is based on a calculation that is proportional to the average number of cremations and burials as well as the average end-of-life medical costs.”

Read this article in its entirety, click here.

“7 Steps for Widows and Widowers to Manage Their First Year Alone” – next avenue

“Legal and financial moves to take care of yourself and your loved ones.”

for widowsCredit: Getty

by Anna Byrne

“Nothing quite prepares you for the dark and debilitating grief of losing a spouse or life partner. The beginning of every widow or widower’s journey is about picking up the pieces and finding the strength to keep going even when your ‘other half’ has passed.

“I know firsthand the kind of extreme sadness that can overwhelm you, as I became a widow after losing my husband when I was just 28.

“This life experience taught me that life is unpredictable, underscored the importance of planning for the future and has inspired me to help others plan and navigate such loss.

“The first year of being a widow or widower is about living in memory of a loved one, but the next chapter is about remembering to live your own life.”

Keep reading this article at next avenue, click here.

monthly Monday Death Cafe continues on May 17 | you may register to attend now.

May dc

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcrcOihpjspHNN79DNu1LnOTQzgn–_PKrj
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email.

“What And When Is National Healthcare Decisions Day 2021?” – Cake

NHDD

by Kimberly Charleson

“There’s a day for everything under the sun. You’ll find some bizarre ones, like National Chopsticks Day and National Cherry Pie Day. But National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is one of the most important, and it’s celebrated each year to shed light on the importance of advanced care planning.

Advanced care planning involves documenting and deciding your wishes in case you become too sick or unable to make your wishes known in the future.

“Healthcare decisions are not easy to talk about and can range from palliative care and hospice to the type of funeral you’d like. The best way to be prepared is to start end-of-life planning early.

“Each year, National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) falls on the same day in April — April 16.”

Read more here.

What’s on the other side? | “Can Robert Bigelow (and the Rest of Us) Survive Death?” – The New York Times

other side

“What’s across the River Styx? Robert Thomas Bigelow would like to know. Wouldn’t anyone, especially now? But Mr. Bigelow is not just anyone, or any 76-year-old mourning a wife and confronting his own mortality. He’s a maverick Las Vegas real estate and aerospace mogul with billionaire allure and the resources to fund his restless curiosity embracing outer and inner space, U.F.O.s and the spirit realm.

“Now he’s offering nearly $1 million in prizes for the best evidence for ‘the survival of consciousness after permanent bodily death.’

essay competition

“In other words, was Hamlet right to call death an inescapable boundary, ‘the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns?’ Or does consciousness in some form survive bodily death — what the Dalai Lama called how we merely ‘change our clothes’?

“Is Raymond Chandler’s Big Sleep only a nap?

“Mr. Bigelow believes so. ‘I am personally totally convinced of it,’ he said.”

Click here to read the New York Times article in its entirety.

Click here to be redirected to the Bigelow Institute for Conscious Studies. 

The next Death Cafe is slated for Monday, February 22 | You may register to attend now.

02222021 Death Cafe

You are invited to attend this FREE Death Cafe via ZOOM. Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpceuhqzsuGtP4CL-7TyXAYI9NqCmtSJNL

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

“Talking About Death Is Hard, but Some Groups Embrace It” – AARP

“Amid COVID-19 losses, death cafés provide supportive settings for discussions about mortality”

death cafe

by Robin L. Flanigan

“Death has never been easy to talk about in our culture, but COVID-19 has thrust the taboo subject into the spotlight.

“And some groups, called death cafés, are making it less fraught to discuss topics around dying, including fears, spirituality and ethics. With more than 400,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus, mortality is something that is on many people’s minds — whether they’re having a direct experience with it or not.

“With tea and cake or other treats, death cafés — in 73 countries and now mostly virtual — are open to anyone interested in delving into the issue of mortality. With no agendas, only unstructured conversation, their objective is to increase awareness of death in a supportive way while helping people make the most of their lives.”

Click here to continue reading this article at AARP.org.


The Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area of the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources has been hosting local Death Cafes for the past five years. Due to COVID-19, our Death Cafes have been held virtually via ZOOM for the past year.

The next Death Cafe is tonight — you can still register to come to tonight’s Death Cafe held in collaboration with the Exeter Community Library:

You are invited to a Zoom Death Cafe.
When: Jan 28, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMld-CpqDguE91tCwdVKhnLQ5_bCMTyUjJl

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Then in March, there’s another one that’s being held in collaboration with Lebanon County’s Age Wave Initiative’s Advance Care Planning Coalition. 

You are invited to a Zoom Death Cafe.
When: Mar 15, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcqc-ytqDooGtDOCNiObvO8EXSN_V0rqno1

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

“End-of-life care has boomed in California. So has fraud targeting older Americans” – The Los Angeles Times

hospice fraud“Ellie Craig Goldstein holds a pouch containing sentimental items from her brother, Peter Craig. Three years after Peter’s death, his sisters Ellie and Joyce Craig are haunted by the memory of his final hours.” – (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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“Martin Huff was 67 when he fell off his bicycle, banged up his knee and spent a couple of hours in a Riverside County emergency room before walking out under his own power.

“Ten days later he was in hospice care, diagnosed as terminally ill by a small Covina provider of end-of-life services that said he was weak and wasting away, with six months or less to live.

“Five years after that grim prognosis, however, Huff was still very much alive. He testified in federal court that no one from California Hospice Care had ever given him a medical exam before claiming he was dying.

“’I really never knew exactly what the deal was on the hospice,’ he said.”

Click here to continue reading this article at The Los Angeles Times.

“Drive-by burials and FaceTime farewells: Grief in the Covid era will weigh on the American psyche for years to come” – STATnews

covid griefMARIA FABRIZIO FOR STAT

by Todd S. Purdum

The rituals of grief and mourning are as old as time: the swift Jewish burial and seven days of sitting shiva to honor the dead; the Muslim washing and three-sheeted shrouding of a body; the solemn Mass of Christian Burial with Holy Communion and the promise of an afterlife. All these — and other rites of faith and community across the globe — have been brutally curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, with effects on the mental and physical health of those left behind that have yet to be grasped.

It’s become commonplace to measure the virus’ death toll in terms of the casualties of war: In the United States alone, the fatalities already amount to five Vietnams, more than 40 Iraqs and Afghanistans and upward of 90 9/11s. Americans could mark all those past losses together, with hugs and handholding, collective tears and tender mercies, candlelight vigils and choruses of ‘God Bless America.’ By contrast, in bedside farewells via FaceTime, drive-by burials as under-attended as Jay Gatsby’s, and digital funerals on Zoom, we’ve been forced to mourn the victims of the novel coronavirus in a numbing new way: more or less alone.

“’If circumstances are such that you have to grieve alone … you can’t get the support that you may really need,’” … Continue reading this article at STATnews, click here.

“Prayers and Grief Counseling After COVID: Trying to Aid Healing in Long-Term Care” – Kaiser Health Network

grief covid

Central Baptist Village in Norridge, Illinois, held a socially distanced ceremony for one of its beloved nurses who died of COVID-19. Assisted living centers and nursing homes around the country offer grief counseling and memorial services for staffers and residents lost to the coronavirus. (Dawn Mondschein)

by Judith Graham

“A tidal wave of grief and loss has rolled through long-term care facilities as the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 91,000 residents and staffers — nearly 40% of recorded COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

“And it’s not over: Facilities are bracing for further shocks as coronavirus cases rise across the country.

“Workers are already emotionally drained and exhausted after staffing the front lines — and putting themselves at significant risk — since March, when the pandemic took hold. And residents are suffering deeply from losing people they once saw daily, the disruption of routines and being cut off from friends and family.

“In response, nursing homes and assisted living centers are holding memorials for people who’ve died, having chaplains and social workers help residents and staff, and bringing in hospice providers to offer grief counseling, among other strategies.”

Click here to continue reading this article in its entirety at Kaiser Health Network.