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In Palliative Care, Comfort Is the Top Priority

Last year, when an oncologist advised that Betty Chin might benefit frompalliative care, her son Kevin balked. Mrs. Chin, a retired nurse’s aide who lives in Manhattan’s Chinatown, was undergoing treatment for a recurrence of colorectal cancer. Her family understood that radiation and chemotherapy wouldn’t cure her, but they hoped doctors could keep the cancer

A New Vision for Dreams of the Dying

One evening in the late fall, Lucien Majors, 84, sat at his kitchen table, his wife Jan by his side, as he described a recent dream. Mr. Majors had end-stage bladder cancer and was in renal failure. As he spoke with a doctor from Hospice Buffalo , he was alert but faltering. In the dream,

When Your Loved One Is Ready for Hospice Care – and You Aren’t

Many painful emotional issues face family members and friends when a loved one becomes terminally ill. These include communicating the diagnosis to others; overcoming denial that the person is, in fact, near death; feeling the need to "be strong" and hide their sadness for the benefit of the patient and others; dealing with anticipatory grief;

How to Talk to Your Children about End-of-Life Care

This period of time can be uncomfortable for all – which is why many families choose not to have the “tough conversation” about what the next steps are for a parent’s care. But, now is the time to talk to your children about end-of-life care. Learn more about how to get your children involved in

ED-Initiated Palliative Care Can Improve Quality of Life

Despite the fact that visits to the emergency department (ED) are common for patients with advanced cancer, delivery of palliative care is not standard within most EDs. A new study published in JAMA Oncology, suggests that ED-initiated palliative care consultation improved quality of life (QOL) for patients with advanced cancer and does not appear to

In India, Dispensers of Balm Travel to Death’s Door

A white van coursed through narrow roads along the monsoon-soaked coastline of Kerala, a state in southwestern India. Inside, Radha Upasarna, a volunteer, and two nurses looked over the roster of patients they would visit, most of whom had cancer or heart disease or were paraplegic. As they bumped along through the area’s villages, the

Ascension, University of Pennsylvania study EHR algorithms for palliative care

To help clinicians understand when palliative care orders might be most appropriate, Ascension Health is participating in an National Institutes of Health-funded study run by University of Pennsylvania researchers to evaluate electronic health record-prompted automation of palliative care consult orders in the acute care setting. The partnership will enable the Penn researchers and care teams

New year brings chance to have tough conversations

Approximately 2.5 million people will die in the United States in the new year. Of that number, over three-fourths will very likely be over the age of 65. This makes Medicare the largest insurer of health care during the last year of life for an extremely large number of individuals. In 2015, Medicare proposed payment

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