DYING, SURVIVING, AND AGING WITH GRACE


Not in that order
Resources on illness, death and dying, loss, grief, and positive aging

Selected Works

Enjoying the golden years
Including suicide and assisted suicide
Plus memorials and requiems
(resources for specific diseases, conditions, syndromes)
Narrative medicine (or medical narrative) Memoirs of illness, crisis, disability, differentness, and survival
Assisted living, nursing homes, cohousing, or living in place (with or without caregivers)

Managing life for
aging and disabled patients

• Senior housing options (the big picture)
• Aging in place
• Village movement
• Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs)
• The Eden Alternative and the Green House Project
• Assisted living
• Nursing homes, old and new
• Long term acute care hospitals (LTACs)
• Senior health problems, surgery, aches and pains
• Traveling with limited mobility or other disabilities
• Assistive devices (enabling more independent living)
• Equipment, services, and advice
(a hodge-podge of helpful links that I'll eventually sort into the right categories)
• Changing attitudes about disability
• Books about caregiving for elders (and patients with Alzheimer's)
• Organizing and dealing with things and information
(Downsizing, decluttering, and other hard-to-face realities)
• Legal and financial matters
• End-of-life decision-making in the critical care unit


All those steps taken to help disabled people become enormously relevant when we are pregnant, are temporarily disabled after an accident (try ญnavigaญting stairs with a broken limb), or begin to experience the surprising number of disabilities that may accrue as we age. Life is different when you can’t see or hear as well or get around with the same physical ease you once had. Luckily many aids and support programs are available. Check them out.

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Housing options: the big picture


• Atul Gawande: "We Have Medicalized Aging, and That Experiment Is Failing Us" Michael Mechanic interviews Gawande, Mother Jones, 10-7-14) Nursing homes and assisted living facilities that over-dwell on safety fail the residents by taking too much choice and pleasure out of their hands. For example, "Introducing animals into a nursing home brought residents "out of their shells...They became more active. They also lived longer."
• Online Reviews of Senior Housing Options, With Caveats (Ann Carrns, Bucks, NY Times, 4-8-13)
• A Place for Mom , this housing referral service for older adults has introduced an affiliated site aimed at providing consumer reviews of senior care locations: SeniorAdvisor.com . Care locations are organized by type, such as assisted living, independent living, senior apartments and skilled nursing homes.
• For A Long And Healthy Life, It Matters Where You Live (Richard Knox, NPR Shots, 7-18-13). Hawaiians can expect 16 years of healthy life after 65; Mississippians, less than 11 years.)
• Pioneer Network (advocates for culture change in eldercare models, from long-term nursing home care to short-term transitional care to community-based care)
• Independent Living Is Exposing Elderly To Eviction Threat (Motoko Rich, NY Times, 2-15-14) A growing group of elderly people is "fighting for the right to age how, and where, they choose. A host of challenges, social and legal, awaits them."
• Eldercare locator (download helpful brochures on employment options for elders, hospital-to-home transition, housing options for seniors, Medicines for you (a guide for older adults), prescription drug options, staying in touch in crisis, transportation options for mobility independence, and staying warm and safe in the winter.
• Someone on the Line (Paula Span, NY Times, 10-8-10). Span reviews services provided through the Eldercare Locator toll-free number, (800) 677-1116, finds it hard to get through, and worries that callers are referred to local agencies, whose usefulness may vary.
• How a parent’s health-care bills could hurt you (Elizabeth O'Brien, MarketWatch, Wall Street Journal, 7-10-14) Misunderstanding the fine print could leave you on the hook for elder-care costs " The best way to separate your responsibility as power of attorney from any personal financial obligation is to sign your parent’s name as the responsible party on the contract, and after that write, “by [your name] as power of attorney,” followed by the date, said Bradley J. Frigon, an elder law attorney in Denver and president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys."
• Housing Options for Older Adults (download PDF booklet, Eldercare.gov -- or read online)
• In Coming Decades, Fewer Caregivers (Judith Graham, New Old Age, NY Times, 8-26-13) Who will care for me when I’m old?
Coming Together to Make Aging a Little Easier (Elizabeth Pope, NY Times 9-15-11). Innovative approaches to managing some of the difficulties of aging are bubbling up around the country, often initiated by women who want to stay independent. Pope writes about The Caring Collaborative, a project initiated by The Transition Network in New York, which has created three downloadable manuals (about creating a caring collaborative, about creating a vertical village in a high-rise building, and about what you need to know when you go to the hospital).
• Roommates are a financial lifeline for some seniors (Martha C. White, Retirement, CNBC May 2014)
• Do Seniors Turn to the Right Places at End of Life? (Andrew Seaman, Chicago Tribune, 10-1-12, posted on Compassion & Choices blog). Palliative or hospice care, associated with hospices, should be incorporated into Medicare’s nursing home benefits; nursing homes are typically geared to rehabilitation and long-term care, not comfort care.
• Moving Toward Person- and Family-Centered Care (Lynn Feinberg, Public Policy Institute, AARP, March 2012)
• How to Choose Between Home Health Care, Assisted Living, and a Nursing Home
• Hospice care and palliative care (a full set of links to various aspects of comfort care for the dying)
• Compare Cost of Care Across the United States (helpful Genworth database, showing median costs, per state, of home care, adult day health care, assisted living facility, nursing home)
• Costs of long-term care (LongTermCare.gov)
• John Hancock survey of long-term health care costs (2013). Calculating the cost of care locally (based on figures from Hancock survey)
• Cohousing. Cohousing communities are old-fashioned neighborhoods that bring together the value of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living, including common facilities and good connections with neighbors.
• Elder Abuse (Ashley Carson Cottingham, Compassion & Choices). A rarely discussed form of elder abuse occurs when an older adult’s expressed wishes at the end of life are ignored, and as a result they are subjected to unwanted and invasive medical treatment.
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Aging in Place


• Aging in Place: Rethinking Solutions to the Home Care Challenge (MetLife report by Louis Tanenbaum, Sept. 2010). You can download the report (PDF) and the workbook, free.
• NORC's Aging in Place Initiative. (NORC = naturally occurring retirement communities -- without walls). One page on this site shows location of NORC demonstration communities--more than 40 of them, in 25 states. (Jewish Federations of North America)
• Coming Together to Make Aging a Little Easier (Elizabeth Pope, NY Times 9-15-11). Innovative approaches to managing some of the difficulties of aging are bubbling up around the country, often initiated by women who want to stay independent. Pope writes about The Caring Collaborative, a project initiated by The Transition Network in New York, which has created three downloadable manuals (about creating a caring collaborative, about creating a vertical village in a high-rise building, and about what you need to know when you go to the hospital).
• Straw bale cottage rises in South Berkeley (Judith Scherr, Contra Costa Times, 11-19-14). Building the 438-square straw house became a community project. And no, it's not a fire trap.
• Another tiny house, for minimalist living (video, Tiny House Nation)
• Frail Seniors Want To Live At Home. But Is it More Dangerous? Howard Gleckman (Forbes, 7-9-14) reports on a study that finds that seniors receiving care at home face both preventable and nonpreventable hospitalizations at significantly higher rates than nursing home residents, even though those in nursing facilities are often sicker than those in the community. Elders at home "were at greater risk of hospitalization for potentially preventable conditions...including congestive heart failure, pneumonia, dehydration, and urinary tract infections.... It may be that better medical care, in the form of house calls, community health centers, or other services, could reduce many of those preventable hospitalizations. Better training and more support for family caregivers could help as well."
• Understanding What Home Care Really Costs (Home Instead Senior Care)
• Home Health Agency Compare (Medicare.gov--find a home health care agency near you)
• Physician Compare (Medicare.gov--find a (geriatric) physician near you)
• Thriving 99-year-old is right at home in today's lively downtown L.A. (Steve Lopez, L.A.Times, 9-21-13). "The Markoffs lived comfortably in the lefty environs of Echo Park and Silver Lake for decades...but his driving wasn't so good, and the house was too much to manage. So they sold, bought a condo downtown in the same building as their daughter and 80-year-old son-in-law and got a surprise...."
• How the Trailer Park Could Save Us All (Lisa Margonelli, Pacific Standard) A healthy, inexpensive, environmentally friendly solution for housing millions of retiring baby boomers is staring us in the face. We just know it by a dirty name.
• Staying Independent in Old Age, With a Little Help (Jane E. Brody, Wellness, NY Times, 12-24-12) Many older people need outside help long before they require round-the-clock care. "Needed changes at the community level include affordable small-scale housing and cluster housing situated in walkable communities with nearby amenities, businesses, health facilities and public transportation. Borrowing from the design of assisted living facilities, individual dwelling units might be located around a common space that includes dining areas and social rooms." Concludes with How to Know When Home Alone Is No Longer a Good Idea.
• Age in Place. The services you need for a life at home. National Aging in Place Council (an association of service providers)
• Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) (Johns Hopkins School of Nursing)
• Aging in Place: Project aims to keep seniors in their homes ( Lauran Neergaard
The Associated Press, in the Star Gazette, 7-28-13) "The environment in which you live can be as disabling as a disease, and too often, older Americans wind up in a nursing home not because they’re super-sick but because they can’t get through their days safely at home. Now a major research project will bring handymen, occupational therapists and nurses into the homes of 800 low-income seniors in Baltimore to test if some inexpensive fix-ups and strategies for daily living can keep them independent longer, and save millions in taxpayer dollars spent on nursing home care."
• Sensors Help Keep the Elderly Safe, and at Home (John Leland, NY Times, 2-12-09)
• Seven 'Life Hacks' to Help Keep You Out of the Nursing Home (Jason Kane, PBS Newshour, 8-8-13). A low-vision keyboard, motion sensor lighting (to help you see when you get up at night), bed rails, zipper pull on your clothes, safety strips in your tub, tape for rugs--to prevent tripping).
• Babyboomer demand boosting universal home design (Realty Times)
• Age in Place (National Aging in Place Council)
• Aging in Place blog
• Aging in Place (National Association of Home Builders)
• Disaster recovery resources (National Association of Home Builders)
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The Village Movement: Aging-in-place supported communities


• Village to Village Network
• Washington (DC) Area Villages Exchange (WAVE)
• Retirees Turn to Virtual Villages for Mutual Support (Constance Gustke, NY Times, 11-28-14) Villages are " low-cost ways to age in place and delay going to costly assisted-living facilities... At the core of these villages is conciergelike service referrals for members...[who] can find household repair services, and sometimes even personal trainers, chefs or practitioners of Reiki...Most important, the villages foster social connections through activities like potlucks, happy hours and group trips."
• Through a growing number of senior villages in the D.C. area, aging in place becomes easier (Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, 2-6-14). See also list of linked-to senior villages in the DC area.
• What is the Village movement? (Montgomery County, MD) What does the village offer? Who creates the village? Village blueprint.
• DC-area senior villages, other resources (Washington Post)
• Villages: Helping People Age in Place (Martha Thomas, AARP, May/​June 2011) More than a neighborhood, a village gives older people a better chance to stay in their own home longer
• Villages Take Root Around Virginia (Marsha Mercer, AARP, 10-1-10)
• North Carolina Tries Village Concept (Sue Price Johnson, AARP Bulletin, 6-1-10)
• Villages: A New Take on an Old Idea (Susan Poor, Leading Age, California) Excellent history and overview.
FOR EXTRA CREDIT:
• From the home front: Critiquing the tiny house movement (Pat Jeffreies, The Oregonian, 7-31-13). And if that isn't enough, see more Oregonian stories on the tiny house movement.
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Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs)


• A Geriatrician's Search for Senior Living -- One Caregiver's Story: Doctor, Daughter, Caregiver (Sherri Snelling,Caring.com). Sally Brooks' solution was a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), where her mother could live in assisted living while her dad was cared for in the dementia-care facility on the same campus. See Five Things to Consider When Selecting the Right Nursing Center for Elderly Parents. Note that she checked the facility's rating (on a five-star scale) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
• Today's Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) (PDF-- this white paper from SeniorsHousing.org provides background you should have when you start looking at facilities)
• How to select a continuing care retirement community (PDF, CARF-CCAC, the only accrediting body for CCRCs)

"Often what we define as health problems are really support problems." ~ Judith Snow, quoted in Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don't Seem to Matter. . . But Really Do by Melinda Blau and Karen L. Fingerman
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The Eden Alternative and The Green House Project


The Eden Alternative -- a nonprofit that believes aging should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline. Its vision: To eliminate loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.
• The Eden Alternative . (Dale Bell, & thou shalt honor). Dr. William Thomas, who proposed the Eden Alternative, believes that nursing homes are primarily homes, not hospitals, and suggests nursing homes commit to a human habitat model--in which the residents' lives in nursing homes revolve around a decentralized team method of care delivery, resident animals, daily children's activities, and many plants. The Harvard graduate and father of five has so far "Edenized" about 300 nursing homes in the United States and a handful in Australia and Europe
• The Eden Alternative Explained (Virgil Thomas, ChangingAging.org, 3-17-14) Read more on the Eden Alternative blog.
• Mission, Vision, Values, and Ten Principles of the Eden Alternative. The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom account for the bulk of suffering among our Elders.
• Ten Principles. An Elder-centered community commits to creating a human habitat where life revolves around close and continuing contact with plants, animals, and children. It is these relationships that provide the young and old alike with a pathway to a life worth living.
• Eden Alternative video (Jason Goodman). Add companionship, pets, and children, to turn a nursing home into a living home.
• Personal Pets in Long-Term Care
• Archives of stories about Eden Alternative
• How is the Green House Project Different From the Eden Alternative? (Dana Larsen, A Place for Mom 10-8-12)
• The Green House Project
• The Green House Project model (caring homes for meaningful lives, transforming the culture of long-term care)
• My Mother, the Lion (Ruth Little, on her mother's life and her final days in Elders' Eden)


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Assisted living


• The move to assisted living: Navigating the fine line between money and emotions (Liyna Anwar, Marketplace, 7-13-12)
• What You Need to Know About Assisted Living Facilities (Howard Gleckman, Caring for Your Parents blog, 5-17-13)
• Advice About Assisted Living for Aging Relatives, Part 1 (Debra Drelich, Ask an Expert, NY Times, 10-16-13)
• Advice About Assisted Living for Aging Relatives, Part 2 (Debra Drelich, Ask an Expert, NY Times, 10-23-13)
• Taking Questions About When It’s Time for Assisted Living (Nicole Higgins DeSmet, NY Times, 10-9-13--answers to be posted 10-16-13) Ask an Expert features Debra Drelich, a specialist in geriatric care who will answer questions about assisted living and other special living arrangements for aging relatives.
• All the Right Questions. What to know and what to ask when choosing an assisted-living facility. Julyssa Lopez (Washingtonian, 11-09) explains key questions to get info on: What care is provided? Is the facility well run? Can it handle emergencies? What if my health gets worse? What do I look for in a contract? Can I change the contract? Are there hidden fees? Can I get a refund? Can they kick me out?
• 10 Things to Know About Assisted Living (Jane Gross, New Old Age, NY Times, 10-20-08).
• Ten Things You Need to Know About Assisted Living (Martin Bayne, 2-25-13)
• Life and Death in Assisted Living (series by Frontline and Pro Publica, as part of an ongoing investigation, A.C. Thompson and Jonathan Jones and others reporting)
---Part 1: The Emerald City (7-29-13).
---Is Assisted Living Putting Profits Above Care? (Blair Hickman, ProPublica, 7-31-13) Is the loosely regulated, multi-billion dollar assisted living industry putting seniors at risk?
---World of Hurt: Those Lost and Those Left Behind (8-1-13) When things go wrong in assisted living, people can pay with their dignity, and sometimes with their lives. A review of state regulatory records and more than 100 lawsuits turned up repeated examples of grave mistakes or misconduct at facilities operated by Emeritus Senior Living, the country’s largest assisted living company. These are the stories of five families still trying to cope with their pain.
---For Assisted Living Industry, a Media Strategy to Thwart Federal Oversight (Pro Publica, 7-30-13) In a talking points memo, Emeritus, the country’s largest assisted living company, seeks to highlight the company’s compassion and deride any need for greater regulation out of Washington.
---The Deaths and Disappearance that Haunt Assisted Living (8-1-13)
---: Elderly at Risk and Haphazardly Protected (A.C. Thompson and Jonathan Jones, Frontline and ProPublica, 10-29-13). This examination of the multibillion-dollar assisted living industry reveals a mishmash of minimal state regulation and no involvement by federal officials. Even though increasing numbers of assisted living residents are seriously ill and require complex care, regulations for assisted living lag far behind the reality in many states -- and assisted living operators face few consequences for even the most serious lapses. Pieces: Elderly at risk and haphazardly protected. In California, a major system's considerable failure. The industry is smart. In Washington, a lack of will.

• LongTermCare.gov (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), a helpful site that provides such information as the estimated cost of care in your state.
• How to Live in Assisted Living (Judith Graham, The New Old Age, NY Times, 3-20-13). Graham interviews Martin Bayne about the emotional experiences of older adults in assisted living and what changes he would like to see made in this type of long-term care. Bayne, who lives in assisted living, writes an excellent blog: The Voice of Aging Boomers . Read some of his blog posts for frank discussions of what goes on and what should and shouldn't go on, among the elderly who need help.
• Assisted living facilities may be wise to appeal more to men (Pam Gerhardt, Washington Post, 8-1-11). To begin with, change the name.
• Tenure (Martin Bayne, 2-9-13). On his 10th anniversary in assisted living, Bayne writes "Purpose is the magic elixir that trumps pain, transcends any notion of limitation and opens our minds and hearts to possibility. It is also the single most accurate predictor of joy and fulfillment in an aging population." (Among other things.)
• A Room With A Grim View: The ‘Ambient Despair’ That Marks Life In Assisted Living (Martin Bayne, Health Affairs, 7-26-12). After entering an assisted living facility at age fifty-three because of young-onset Parkinson’s, an observer-advocate contemplates the dire need for long-term care reform. In another, blog post, he writes that sub-standard wages are the biggest obstacle to better assisted living facilities. "The women of color that are the backbone of this country’s network of institutional aging facilities – many of them single parents – are denied a living wage. This creates a 'revolving door' phenomenon that cripples moral and destroys any sense of continuity for the residents."
• How is society to look after the ever-growing number of people with dementia? (Martin Bayne, The Voice of Aging Boomers, 8-18-12). A curiously uplifting care home near Amsterdam may have the answers
• Assisted Living Facilities and Standards of Care (listen to Diane Rehm discussion with guests Joanne Lynn, Larry Minnix, Becky Kurtz, or A.C. Thompson) or read the transcript.
• The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center
• A Dark View of Assisted Living (Paula Span, New Old Age, NY Times, 7-30-13)
• Life and Death in Assisted Living (Frontline, 7-30-13). Watch video online. Is this loosely regulated, multi-billion-dollar industry putting seniors at risk? As more and more elderly Americans choose to spend their later years in assisted living facilities, FRONTLINE and ProPublica examine whether this loosely regulated, multi-billion dollar industry is putting seniors at risk? Watch the full film here; you can also download the full series as an e-book.
• “The Emerald City” Life and Death in Assisted Living, Part 1 (very readable text, A.C. Thompson and Jonathan Jones, ProPublica). On the same website page follow Part 2, “They’re Not Treating Mom Well,” Part 3, “A Sinking Ship,” Part 4, “Close the Back Door.” The reporters invite staff to report (Have You Worked In an Assisted Living Facility?) and the responses are posted online.
• Seven Questions To Ask When Searching for Assisted Living (Jason M. Breslow, Frontline, 7-30-13)
• The Deaths and Disappearance that Haunt Assisted Living (A.C. Thompson and Jonathan Jones, Frontline, 7-30-13)
• Lessons We Can Learn From Frontline's Expose of Assisted Living (Howard Gleckman, Forbes, 7-31-13)
• Managing the Assisted Living vs. Hospice Dilemma (Judith Graham, New Old Age, NY Times, 11-19-12)
• Assisted Living Facilities and Standards of Care (listen to Diane Rehm discussion with guests Joanne Lynn, Larry Minnix, Becky Kurtz, or A.C. Thompson) or read the transcript.
• Eldercare Locator
• The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center
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Nursing Homes
Old-style and New


including Green Houses

• How to Choose Between Home Health Care, Assisted Living, and a Nursing Home
• Nursing Home Unthinkable? Be Prepared in Case It’s Inevitable (Jane E. Brody, NY Times, 7-28-14) "You may not want to place a loved one in a nursing home for more than a short-term recovery — but never promise an aging relative that it won’t happen."
• Picking a Nursing Home Shouldn’t Be Trial and Error (Jane E. Brody, Well, NY Times 8-4-14) More expensive isn't necessarily better. Six things to look for in a nursing home, especially for dementia care.
• Choosing a Nursing Home: What to Look for, What to Ask (pdf, Alzheimer's Association, West Virginia Chapter)
• America's Best Nursing Homes (U.S. News & World Report -- notice step 1: Decide if a nursing home is necessary)
• Where Can You Get the Best Nursing Home Value in America? (Howard Gleckman, 6-25-14). A new study by AARP, the Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation ranks the quality and affordability of nursing homes by state....according to some indicators, you get what you pay for: The states with the most affordable facilities are plagued by many poor performers.
• Nursing Homes Unmasked: How California’s largest nursing home chains perform (Part 1 of an outstanding 3-part series in the Sacramento Bee, by Marjie Lundstrom and Phillip Reese, 11-8-14) Part 2: Who owns California’s nursing homes? (11-9-14) Bottom line: Business people who are not concerned about quality of care, who see nursing facilities as a money-making operation "with no real interest in – or intuition for – the practice of providing care,” claim that chains provide efficiencies--boosting profits, but not enabling good patient care. “When you look at the facility itself, it’s losing money every month. So that’s telling you the building is underfunded. Every penny that comes in the door from the patients … gets swept up to corporate headquarters.” See Help for consumers: How to research California nursing homes (11-9-14)
• Nursing Home Compare (Medicare.gov--find a nursing home near you) . Here's a critique of that rating system (Paula Span, The Fault in Our Stars, NY Times, 7-8-14) You need to visit to check a place out!
• Aggressive Neighbors in the Nursing Home (Paula Span, NY Times, 11-25-14)
• For Veterans, an Alternative to the Nursing Home (Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian, NY Times, 7-18-12). The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Foster Home program places veterans who need round-the-clock care in private homes.
• Nursing Home Alternative Susan Dentzer (PBS Newshour, 2-27-02) reports on life at a different kind of nursing home. (From the Eden Alternative to the Green House.)
• The Promise, Practice, and Problems of the Eden Alternative (Long-Term Living, 12-1-03)
• Green Houses Offer Elders an Alternative (RWJF, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) Many frail elders seek an alternative to the typical institutional-style nursing home. With more Green Houses taking root across the United States, that alternative is getting closer to home....Nursing home quality and affordability vary widely across states, and they only sometimes have much to do with one another."
• Move Over Nursing Homes — There's Something Different: Green Houses (Ina Jaffe, All Things Considered, NPR, 7-24-13). Typically each elder will have a private room and/​or a private bathroom.
• The Green House Nursing Home Alternative (video, Green House as outgrowth of the Eden Alternative)
• A Nursing Home Shrinks Until It Feels Like a Home (Laurie Tarkan, NY Times, 10-31-11). Echoes days later in A Home for Those Who Hate Nursing Homes
• In Nursing Homes, an Epidemic of Poor Dental Hygiene (Catherine Saint Louis, NY Times, 8-4-13)
• Bullying Is Ageless: Conflict And Violence Widespread In Nursing Homes, Study Finds (Nell Lake, CommonHealth Reform and Reality, WBUR, 11-14-14)
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Long-term acute care hospitals


At These Hospitals, Recovery Is Rare, but Comfort Is Not (Gina Kolata, Health, NY Times, 6-23-14) The Hospital for Special Care is one of 400 long-term acute care hospitals in the United States. These are no ordinary hospitals: Critically ill patients, sometimes unresponsive or in comas, may live here for months, even years, sustained by respirators and feeding tubes....These facilities often are tucked out of sight, and even many doctors do not know they exist."
• What are long-term care hospitals (LTCHs)? (PDF, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
• FAQs about long-term acute care hospitals (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association)
• House, Senate Leaders Introduce Bill to Change Post-Acute Care System Steve teske, Bloomberg BNA, 6-27-14)
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Health problems, surgery, aches and pains

The good, the bad, and the ugly

• Patients Freed to Live Life Through Program Targeting Advanced Illness Management (AIM) (Betsy Gornet, American Society on Aging (ASA). AIM patients spend less time in the hospital and manage their pain and symptoms better through the innovative care provided.
• Avoiding Surgery in the Elderly (Paula Span, The New Old Age, NY Times, 1-26-12). For the very old and frail, surgery can become a source of danger in itself.
• Joint replacement had been a success, but pain persisted in patient’s shoulder ( Sandra G. Boodman, Washington Post, 7-22-13). Be your own advocate and make sure they ask about allergies to other metals, including nickel, in those titanium parts.
• At Too Many Hospitals, a Revolving Door (Judith Graham, New Old Age, NY Times, 7-23-13). Hospitals need to learn that if a patient isn’t ready to hear what a medical provider wants to say, meaningful communication becomes impossible--some patients cannot assimilate medical advice at the time of their discharge. And they need more than a sheaf of papers to feel comfortable going home.
• For the Elderly, Emergency Rooms of Their Own (Anemona Hartocollus, NY Times, 4-9-12). Geriatric emergency rooms, specifically designed for the elderly, are part of a growing trend. See also Emergency Rooms Built With the Elderly in Mind (Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian, The New Old Age blog, NY Times, 3-14-11). These are motivated in part by hospitals' desire to find an edge in the increasingly competitive health care marketplace.
• When Is the Worst Time to Go to the Hospital? (Pauline W. Chen, MD, NY Times 3-18-10)
• Overprescribing the Healthy Elderly: Why Funding Research and Drug Safety Is Paramount (Laura Newman, Scientific American guest blog, 6-30-11)
• Remedies for Nail Fungus (Anahad O'Connor, Ask Well, NY Times, 4-8-13). Is there any cure for toenail fungus that doesn’t involve a risky drug? Yes. Don't spend $1000 for laser treatment, as I did (and it was administered by a young woman, not the doctor).
• SteriShoe shoe sanitizer . It sez here that using ultraviolet light (UVC), the SteriShoe shoe sanitizer (which you insert inside shoes) kills the organisms that cause toenail fungus, athlete's foot, and smelly shoes. $130
• Medical Mysteries (Sandra G. Boodman's interesting series in the Washington Post--not a bad place to start reading if you're dealing with a problem your medical caregivers aren't fixing or alleviating)
• Coping with cancer and critical illness
• Coping with chronic, rare, and invisible diseases and disorders
• Illness (resources for specific diseases, conditions, syndromes, including rare diseases--not otherwise covered in two categories above!)
• Memoirs of illness, crisis, disability, differentness, and survival (a reading list)
• Discussion groups and chat rooms about specific problems (assistivetech.net)
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Assistive devices--things that make life easier
when your body falls short


Those of us who have had encounters with serious illness or injury, or just plain aging, have come to value highly some of these wonderful devices. If you're not ready for them, take a look on behalf of friends and relatives who might benefit from them. Here is information about technology and products that may enable independent living in the frail and elderly. The first item I realized would be useful even when I was in good health was the reacher grabber. I love the longer reacher-grabber (by Ettore).

•
AbleData (a federally funded project to provide information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources your source for assistive technology information). AbleData doesn't sell products; it provides lots of useful information--including this useful section on products. Take a look at products for housekeeping, or aids for dressing such as buttoning aids.
• HealthCraft sells at-home products (poles, rails, bath boards, grab bars, ceiling-mounted bars and trapezes to help you lift self in bed), commercial products (for safety in the bathroom, kitchen, bed, living room, and on stairs), and so on
• Accessible Environments, Inc. (call 1-800-643-5906)
• Active Forever , which also provides clear explanations of many health problems and medical tests (call 1-800-377-833)
• Adaptive Living Store
• AssistiveTech.net (resources in many categories, for assistive technology and for disability-related information)'
• AT Exchange Networks
• Conval-Aid
• Crest Healthcare Supply (call 1-800-328-8908)
• Discussion Groups (CATEA Assistivetech.net, National Public Website on Assistive Technology)
• EnableMart
• Flaghouse (rehabilitation tools, aids to daily living, therapeutic aids, etc.)
• Garden Kneeler and Seat (Yard Butler GKS-2). You can also buy a Garden Tool Pouch For Kneeler
• Gold Violin (lighting and magnification devices, adaptive furniture, cooking and gardening items-- does catalog sales for Lighthouse International)
• HDIS (products for those who experience loss of bladder control, aka incontinence)
• Healthy Kin.com
• Life with Ease (products to help you live life to the max in spite of impairments or injuries)
• MaxiAids (products for people with impaired hearing, vision, or mobility)
• Mobility Store (mobility devices, scooters and wheelchairs, bathroom aids, personal care and patient care items, and other aids for daily living)
• Interiors for Independence (call 610-834-7849)
• Ocelco (call 1-800-328-5353)
• Orthotics and Prosthetics (Infinitec.org directory of catalogs and other resources)
• Pass It On Center (information about organizations that recycle AT devices)
• Patterson Medical (rehabilitation and independent living aids, including devices for eating, drinking, and cooking) Worth looking at for openers alone
• uCan Health (home healthcare products: safety and mobility aid, patient room equipment, items such as a bathtub transfer bench, to make it easier to get over edge of tub)
• WestCanProducts.com (Wheelchair accessories and aids for the elderly, including wheelchair trays)
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ADVICE, REFLECTIONS, EQUIPMENT, SERVICES

• Abledata (objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources)
• AbleGamers (online community for disabled gamers, including gamers with muscular dystrophy, deaf gamers, etc.)
• Accessible Web page design (for those serving disabled readers)
• Adult diapers, incontinence supplies, bedding, safety equipment, mobility devices, etc. (Parentgiving)
• Advice from a Home Health Aide (by Jane Gross, The New Old Age, New York Times blog)
• Aging Care
• Aging Parents Authority
• Agitator’s Guide to Elder Care (MediCaring.org)
• American Red Cross Disaster & Emergency Kit (by First Aid Only, helpful for carrying in car; only things missing are saline solution and a flashlight, so buy those separately, advises one reviewer)
• American Red Cross Emergency Smartpack for One Person (First Aid Only kit)
• Alzheimer's (links to many resources)
• Americans with Disabilities Act home page
• Answers for families (Nebraska site that may be generally helpful)
• Assistivetech.net (searchable database on assistive technology (AT) and disability-related information)

• Caregivers, caregiving, and preventing or minimizing caregiver burnout (links to many helpful resources and articles)
• Caring for an Ill Spouse, and for Other Caregivers Alix Kates Shulman (NYTimes 9-9-11).
• Caregiving 101 (Debbie Newsham's blog on trying to stay positive while caring for her father, who has dementia)
• Caring for the Elderly (Jane Gross’s excellent list of resources, categorized as government sites, housing and services, caregiving, legal and financial, end of life, miscellany, advocacy, emotional support)
• Caring Today’s blogs, including Debbie Newsham's My So-Called (Caregiver) Life
• Center for Aging with Dignity (scroll down to find useful articles on various aspects of aging and caregiving, for practical advice on safety concerns with aging drivers, and for insights into grieving)
• CAST (Center for Aging Services Technologies, some useful links for disabled or older people)
• Comfort Zone and Comfort Zone Check-In. Alzheimer's Association Comfort Zoneฎ, powered by Omnilink, provides location updates. Family members can monitor a person's location, while the individual with Alzheimer's can maintain their independence and enjoy the emotional security of familiar routines and surroundings. A Web application that includes a location-based mapping service, or LBS. See also Medic Alert.
• Designing a Better Day: Guidelines for Adult and Dementia Day Services Centers by Keith Diaz Moore, Lyn Dally Geboy, and Gerald D. Weisman
• A difficult drive in a suit that mimics aging (Vivian Nereim, Boston Globe, 6-18-09)
• The Digital Divide of Disability.NPR's On the Media hosts people from Knowbility, an organization that advocates for technology that allows blind, deaf and otherwise disabled people to use the Internet (and things like AbleGamer video games)
• Dignity Therapy. For the Dying, A Chance to Rewrite Life (Alix Spiegel, Morning Edition, NPR 9-12-11). Listen or read transcript.
• Disability.gov (online resource for Americans with disabilities)
• Disability resources (Syracuse Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies). Links to useful resources in many categories, including Family supports and academic programs in disability studies.
• Disabled World (disability and health news)
• Disaster preparedness for people with special needs (Red Cross)
• Doctors say medication overused in dementia (AARP Bulletin)
• Eldercare locator (download their useful booklets on transportation and housing options)
• The Do’s and Don’ts of Signing a Nursing Home Admission Agreement as a Responsible Party (Henry C. Weatherby, ElderCare Matters, April 2014)
• Engage with Grace and the One Slide Project. To help ensure that all of us--and the people we care for--can end our lives in the same purposeful way we lived them. • Watch the Engage with Grace Story (Video, Za's Story) • Download the One Slide (PDF)
• Everyone Communicates (augmentative and alternative communication, for when a person loses the ability to speak)
• Family Support 360 Initiative (providing grants to local service providers to help families with developmental disabilities)
• *Family Village (a global community for disability-related resources)
• Finding Activities for Parents with Memory Loss (Cynthia Green, The New Old Age, NY Times blog, 4-6-10)
• Gadgets for Growing Old at Home (John Leland, reporting from the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NY Times)
• How to Choose a Nursing Home (Toby Bilanow, NY Times 3-19-10) and Stressful but Vital: Picking a Nursing Home Walecia Konrad
• How to Choose Between Home Health Care, Assisted Living, and a Nursing Home (Money and Health, Health.com)
• In a Charmed Life, A Road Less Traveled (Layng Martine Jr, "Modern Love" column, NY Times 3-6-09), how love and the help of others help sustain this couple when a car accident makes her paraplegic)
• Increase Mobility, Brighten Your Outlook with Yoga Stephanie Golden on Yoga and Arthritis, Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor, March 2004)
• Independent Living Centers (a directory)
• Independent Living Institute (promoting disabled people’s self-determination)
• International Longevity Center (navigating the age boom)
• KnowItAlz (Alzheimer’s Caregiver Community)
• Leonardo’s Laptop (Ben Shneiderman interview about human needs and computer design)
• Lessons from the Lost. NY Times video story about law enforcement officers learning how to search for missing persons with Alzheimer's or dementia. For the first time, more missing persons are elderly, with dementia, and may not know they are lost. Missing children used to be the main target of searches.
• Lo-Jack SafetyNet (Lo-Jack bracelet allows families to keep track of dementia-driven wanderers via radio signals, from the stolen-automobile recovery company)
• Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat by David Dosa (about a cat who senses death and stays to comfort the dying, but also about Alzheimer's and geriatric care and nursing homes and being there, at the end of life)

• Meals on Wheels (a crucial service for the elderly and disabled who are living alone, unable to shop and cook for themselves. Many days the people delivering Meals On Wheels are the only people some elders see.)
• Meals on Wheels May Be Your Best Meal Ticket (Robert Littke with Harry Margolis, podcast from ElderLaw Radio).
• MedicAlert + Safe Return (Alzheimer's Association medical bracelet helps when a person wanders or is lost and provides access to vital medical info in time of need) See also Comfort Zone.
• Medicare Compare. Sites for comparing information about physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, dialysis facilities--on HealthCare.gov
• Medicare's Hospital Compare (search and compare hospitals)
• Medicare's Nursing Home Compare (an interactive tool allows you to search and compare detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country)
• Medicare Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home (PDF file)
• Mind Our Elders (Carol Bradley Bursack)
• My Elder Advocate (the meeting place for elderly concerns)
• My So-Called (Caregiver) Life
• National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) (GCMs can help assess elders' long-term care needs, find them a place to live, and help them navigate the health-care system--for example, hiring private nurses, as needed, for fees that range from $80 to $200 an hour)
• National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information
• *National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (Library of Congress, free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail)
• Network of care
• Nursing home checklist (Medicare, what to look for)
• Nursing Home Compare (Medicare's interactive tool allows Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers to search and compare detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country)
• Ombudsmen, by state (federally funded advocates for nursing home patients, who can find latest health inspection reports for a nursing home and tell you how many complaints have been filed about it).
• Ouch! It's a disability thing! (blogs, message boards, podcasts by Mat Fraser and Liz Carr, videos with subtitles, funny computer wallpaper, news reflecting the wider view of life for disabled people)
• OurAlzheimer’s.com
• Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), an optional benefit under Medicare and Medicaid that helps older people frail enough to meet state standards for nursing home care stay in their home.PACE offers and manages all the medical, social and rehabilitative services enrollees need to preserve or restore their independence, stay in their homes and communities, and maintain their quality of life. Listen to this interview on Kansas Public Radio about PACE. There is evidence that this new model of care is effective, but it is not yet widely available. Here is a current list of PACE-provider organizations
• SafetyBunns (comfortable non-restrictive pants for people who use wheelchairs, to keep them from slipping and falling from the chair. Story here from Shadra Bruce, MomsGetReal:Safety Bunns Helps You Keep Your Seat in a Wheelchair .
• SeniorHomes.com
• SeniorNet provides nonprofit computer and Internet education for older adults and seniors -- a site for content and community
• Sensecam: A Little Black Box to Jog Failing Memory (Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, NYTimes, 3-8-10, on a gadget that may be useful for Alzheimer's patients)
• Small Mercies (Canada's Veterans Independence Program successfully provides assistance with home care instead of facility care)
• SmartPack Sac (a carryall for people with special needs--for example, using power and manual wheelchairs, scooters and walkers, or carrying special equipment like a Diavox or medical supplies-- a way to stow all their gear – in style)

• Talking Book Program (Library of Congress, answers to frequently asked questions)
• 10 Things to Know About Assisted Living (Jane Gross, NY Times)
• 3GenFamily blog (caring for parents, raising teens, and staying sane)
• Tips on Caring for Aging Parents (Elizabeth Alterman, CNBC.com, 6-19-12)
• Universal home design (AARP)
• Vocational rehabilitation (fact sheet - pdf format)
• Well Spouses Association. Support and support groups for spousal caregivers. Read Alix Kates Shulman's story about the importance of a caregivers support group.
• What I Wish I'd Done Differently (Jane Gross, on the four biggest mistakes she made while caring for her mother)
• What to Know If You Are The Boss of a Caregiver (Victoria E. Knight, Wall Street Journal, 3-19-09)
• Who Cares? (Federal Trade Commission on sources of information about health care products and services)
• Who Takes Care of Mom? by Francine Russo (Time, 2-1-2010), author of They're Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents' Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy
• Why Hire a Geriatric Care Manager? (by Jane Gross, The New Old Age, New York Times blog)
• The Wrong Care for Dementia Patients (Tara Parker-Pope, Well blog, NY Times)
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Traveling with limited mobility and other disabilities, books on:

• Access Anything: I Can Do That! - Adventuring with Disabilities by Andrea & Craig Kennedy
• Barrier-Free Travel:A Nuts And Bolts Guide For Wheelers And Slow Walkers by Candy B. Harrington (author of 101 Accessible Vacations: Vacation Ideas for Wheelers and Slow Walkers and There Is Room at the Inn: Inns and B&Bs for Wheelers and Slow Walkers)
• Rick Steves' Easy Access Europe: A Guide for Travelers with Limited Mobility

Traveling with disability blogs and websites
• Abiitytrip (accessible, fun travel for all)
• Barrier Free Travels (Candy Harrington's blog with travel info for slow walkers and wheelchair users)
• BootsnAll (one-stop indie travel guide, recommended by World on Wheels)
• Chris Eliot, travel ombudsman
• DisabledTravelers.com
• Emerging Horizons (travel info wheelchair users and slow walkers)
• Flying with Disability
• Global Access News (Disabled Travel Network). See its disability links
• 92 and Still Driving? Seniors At The Wheel (Debbie Brodsky).
• Rolling Rains Report (precipitating dialogue on travel, disability, and universal design)
• Travels with Pain (helping travelers with hidden disabilities explore the world)
• The World on Wheels (a blog). Tim, disabled from birth, travels with a wheelchair; Darryl, his father and caregiver, travels with him.

"An individual with a physical or intellectual disability, then, is said to be 'handicapped' by the lowered expectations of society. A person may also be 'impaired' either by a correctable condition such as myopia, or by an uncorrectable one such as cerebral palsy. For those with mild conditions, related impairments disappear with the application of corrective devices. More serious impairments call for adaptive equipment."
~ Disabled World, "The Language and Terminology of Disabiity"
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Changing Attitudes About Disability

• Disability Is Natural: Revolutionary Common Sense for Raising Successful Children with Disabilities by Kathie Snow. Check out her website for many other useful resources: Disability Is Natural
• Past Due: A Story of Disability, Pregnancy, and Birth by Anne Finger (a frankly detailed story about home birth by a woman with postpolio problems that make giving birth "problematic" -- also opens one's eyes to the stereotypes people have toward disability and to the complexities of reproductive rights).
• Reflections from a Different Journey: What Adults with Disabilities Wish All Parents Knew , ed. Stanley D Klein and John D. Kemp (40 stories by successful adults who grew up with disabilities
• No Pity : People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement
• National Veterans Wheelchair Games (Dr. Govloop)


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Books about Caregiving for Elders and Patients with Alzheimer's

• Caring for Your Parents: The Complete AARP Guide by Hugh Delehanty, Elinor Ginzler, with a foreword by Mary Pipher
• The Caregiver's Compass: How to Navigate with Balance & Effectiveness Using Mindful Caregiving by Holly Whittelsey Whiteside (how to apply life coaching principles to stay balanced during the difficult moments of caregiving, based on her own experiences with her mother and as a life coach). And check out her blog: Transforming Caregiving (mindful caregiving)
• The Complete Eldercare Planner: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help, revised ed., by Joy Loverde. Considered a "must read" if you need help coping with practical and emotional issues, such as helping elders find the right place to live and face (emotionally) needing to leave there.
• Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent : A Guide for Stressed-Out Children by Grace Lebow, Barbara Kane, and Irwin Lebow (learning what they need and how to tell them they need to adjust--friends have well-thumbed copies)
• The Elder Law Handbook: A Legal and Financial Survival Guide for Caregivers and Seniors
• Elder Care: What to Look For, What to Look Out For!, by Thomas M. Cassidy (which includes, among other things, useful checklists)
• Eldercare 911: The Caregiver's Complete Handbook for Making Decisions by Susan Beerman, Judith Rappaport-Musson
• Eldercare for Dummies by Dr. Rachelle Zukerman
• The Eldercare Handbook: Difficult Choices, Compassionate Solutions by Stella Henry and Ann Convery. "Henry helps readers navigate the daunting logistics and powerful emotions of making care decisions for an elderly parent or loved one. Drawing from her 36 years as a registered nurse and a nursing home administrator, as well as her experience caring for both her parents (both of whom suffered the ravages of Alzheimer's disease), Henry tackles all the tough issues: spotting the warning signs of dementia, redefining sibling roles, doing a walk-through at an assisted living facility or nursing home, making the move, and coping with 'take me home!' demands.She also explains the medical, legal, and insurance maze."
• Elder Care: What to Look For, What to Look Out For! (3rd edition) by Thomas M. Cassidy). Addresses such topics as fraud, maltreatment, long-term care insurance, assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, hospice.
• Elder Rage, or Take My Father... Please!: How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents by Jacqueline Marcell (practical answers to problems like getting obstinate elders to accept cleaning and caregiving help, see a different doctor, give up driving, attend adult day care, eat, sleep and bathe properly, move to a new residence, etc. Highly recommended by friends with fully marked-up copies of a book that clearly helped them -- "good for dealing with personal dynamics."
• The Fearless Caregiver: How to Get the Best Care for Your Loved One and Still Have a Life of Your Own by Gary Barg
• Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's: One Daughter's Hopeful Story by Lauren Kessler (weighed down by guilt from her response to her mother's Alzheimer's 8 years earlier, Kessler takes a minimum-wage job as a resident assistant in a facility for Alzheimer's patients--and comes to see the positive side of life for those patients). See also her earlier book Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's
• Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
• Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease by Joanne Koenig Coste
• My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing "Slow Medicine," the Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Ones by Dennis McCullough
• Unheard Voice of the Aging Parent, The: Conflicts and Ambivalence in Intergenerational relationships by counselor Carol Teplin and clinical psychologist Barbara Kaplan,





Legal and Financial Decision-Making



Advance directives, living wills, Medicare, and other practical matters

Disability Planning (ElderLawAnswers)

Long term care insurance (links to articles and sites that answer your questions) Should you or should you not buy long-term care insurance? How much? Can you afford it? Where to learn about options. Do premiums or benefits affect your tax picture? Separating expenses and emotions.

How to apply for SSI

Nolo online law center (provides legal assistance in preparing documents for elder care)

Social Security cash benefit programs for people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities

Supplemental needs trusts and planning for disabled children (ElderLawAnswers)

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End of life decision-making in the critical care unit



End of life decision-making in the critical care unit. "For several months, Globe reporter Lisa Priest and photographer Moe Doiron documented the journeys of four patients, each hooked to a ventilator, each grappling with a debilitating illness or condition. Their stories, while deeply personal, underline the scope of the challenges facing our strained health-care system: challenges that are medical, ethical, and even economic. How much treatment is too much treatment? How and where do we draw the line? And how do we distinguish between what we can do, and what we should do?" Stories from, and related to, the Canadian series from the Globe & Mail:
• Critical care: Spending 10 weeks with patients facing death (Lisa Priest, Globe and Mail 11-26-11)
• Why are we afraid of talking about death? (Erin Anderssen 11-27-11)
• Navigating life and death in 21st-century critical care (Globe & Mail). Watch video of four patients.
• Government lawyer draws line between euthanasia and war (Marc Hume, Vancouver, Globe and Mail, 12-8-11). Read the comments, too.
• A B.C. family's secret: How they helped their parents die
• ‘Good death’ in Swiss clinic held up as model (Mark Hume, 12-7-11)
• Tale of death that took ‘painful eternity’ opens right-to-die case (11-14-11)
• Court hears details of woman’s suffering with ALS in right-to-die case (Mark Hume 11-14-11)
• Government lawyer draws line between euthanasia and war
• Right-to-die laws don’t lead to rise in assisted deaths, experts say (Mark Hume 12-5-11)
• The end of life: a just and reasonable accommodation (Gary Mason, 9-9-10)
• By the numbers: The costs and counts in critical care (11-25-11)
• When it’s time to die: Home is where the heart is
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“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” ~~CS Lewis

"A word to the wise is infuriating."~ Hunter S. Thompson

The Beneficial Effects of Life Story and Legacy Activities by Pat McNees (Journal of Geriatric Care Management, Spring 2009). Get PDF file of journal article here (61.9KB)

When Possessions Lead to Paralysis (Paula Span, The New Old Age, NY Times 9-16-10, on how family members can help family seniors deal with, and get rid of, the lifetime overaccumulation of "stuff")

"In the United Kingdom, people within the disability rights movement commonly use the term 'Disabled' to denote someone who is 'disabled by society's inability to accommodate all of its inhabitants.' The Person First Movement has added another layer to this discourse by asking that people with disabilities be identified first as individuals. 'Person First Language' -- referring, for example, to a 'woman who is blind,' rather than to 'a blind woman' - is a form of political correctness designed to further the aims of the social model by removing attitudinal barriers. Some people with disabilities support the Person First Movement, while others do not. People who are Deaf in particular may see themselves as members of a specific community, properly called the Deaf culture, and so will reject efforts designed to distance them from the central fact of their identity."
~ Disabled World, "The Language and Terminology of Disabiity"

“When Hurricane Katrina came in here and had us scattered everywhere, I felt like I was in the world by myself. I felt like God had forgotten about me. I got on my knees to pray; He said, ‘If you are going to pray, don't worry, and if you are going to worry, don't pray.'”
~ From "Words to the Wise, Capturing seniors' stories while she still can, by David Ball (Herald Tribune, 2-10-2010)

"Dementia is the condition that describes diminishing cognitive skills. Alzheimer's — like Parkinson's and vascular disease — is a sickness that causes dementia.
"'Wandering is a behavior that happens mainly as a result of declining cognitive skills,' says Beth Kallmyer, director of family and information services at the Alzheimer's Association in Chicago. 'The loss of memory impacts their ability to discern where they are.' Where they are in the physical world and who they are, in the metaphysical sense — for example, in their personal relationships."
~ Linton Weeks, The Mysteries of Dementia-Driven Wandering (NPR)

"Whereas a stone is the same stone over time because it is the very same lump of matter - or almost, allowing for erosion - and an oak tree is identical with its originating acorn because it is the same continuous organisation of matter, a person is only the same through time if he or she is self-aware of being so. Memory loss interrupts identity, and complete loss of memory is therefore loss of the self."
~Brain science and the search for the self (A.C. Grayling, NewScientist, 3-20-09)

TYLENOL TOXICITY
Pills or medicine labeled acetaminophen, "Tylenol," or "aspirin-free pain relief" may all contain acetaminophen. Combining such drugs is like taking poison: it may kill you or irreversibly damage your liver.


“Seldom have I read a book that exudes such comfort, such an embrace of genuine insight, care and support....The book’s gift, and it is a rich treasure for the reader, is that it embraces who we are.... The book can be read cover to cover, or just pick out a page. Something will leap off the page, a story, a quote, a reading, narrative couplings of diverse themes colorfully worded by the author/​scribe, to give you the needed word or embrace....This book needs wide circulation. The bereaved deserve this, and the book will help all of us.”
~ Rev. Richard B. Gilbert, director, World Pastoral Care Center, in Resources Hotline