JAMA

Can Reimagined Hospice Combine Medical Care With Support In Dying?

After a half-century as a Medicare benefit, hospice care still has had only limited success in improving the quality of patients’ lives as they approach their deaths. While more people are enrolling in hospice (about 1.7 million in 2020), they often do so only days before dying. Thus, they fail to benefit from the best of what hospice has to [...]

By |2023-10-23T15:51:01-04:00October 23rd, 2023|End of life|0 Comments

Why Do So Few Doctors Want To Specialize In Caring For Older Adults?

You might think that the aging of the Baby Boom generation, with the Gen Xers following close behind, would make geriatric medicine a popular specialty. Almost as attractive, perhaps, as orthopedic surgery. But you’d be very, very wrong. In 2000, there were only about 10,000 board-certified geriatricians to care for 35 million Americans age 65 or older.  That was bad [...]

By |2023-08-15T10:56:51-04:00August 15th, 2023|Health Care|0 Comments

How Covid-19 Affected Those Nursing Homes Residents Who Didn’t Die

We know how the Covid-19 pandemic killed older adults. We are still learning about its other effects on seniors. And the picture is both complex and often difficult to look at. A new study by Michael Barnett of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and colleagues (paywall) finds that residents of nursing homes with active cases of [...]

By |2022-09-15T10:00:54-04:00September 15th, 2022|nursing homes|0 Comments

Too Many Older Adults Are Needlessly Falling, Endangering Themselves and Costing Billions

One of every three older Americans falls every year. Among those 75 and older, the number of falls-related deaths tripled to more than 25,000 from 2000 to 2016. Even after adjusting for age, the mortality rate for falls roughly doubled over that period. Of every 100,000 people age 75 and older, 122 will die from a fall. Falls not only [...]

By |2019-06-05T10:26:04-04:00June 5th, 2019|Caregiver tips|0 Comments

Confronting Hearing Loss As We Age

In recent weeks, I’ve had no fewer than a half-dozen conversations with friends about a difficult—and often embarrassing--issue. No, it isn’t sexual dysfunction, incontinence, or money problems. It is hearing loss. One of every three Americans aged 64-75 has lost some hearing. Half of those 75 and older have trouble hearing.  The longer we live, the more we are going [...]

By |2018-08-01T09:52:53-04:00August 1st, 2018|Health Care|18 Comments

Where Do Older Americans Die?

Increasingly, older Americans are likely to die at home, and not in a hospital. And more seniors are using hospice care as they near end of life. However, stubbornly large numbers of Medicare beneficiaries still land in intensive care units or find themselves shuttled from home to hospital and back again in their last months of life. A fascinating and [...]

By |2018-07-01T09:02:56-04:00July 1st, 2018|End of life|0 Comments

Don’t Get Trapped By The Myth Of The “Good Death”

Dying is trendy. I got an email the other morning about “celebrity deaths.”  After the recent demise of David Bowie, Glenn Frey, and “Grizzly Adams,” it seems that everyone is doing it—dying, that is. Apparently, people have been live tweeting the deaths of loved ones at least since 2013. Rock star docs such as Atul Gawande have created their own [...]

By |2016-01-22T10:03:15-05:00January 22nd, 2016|End of life|0 Comments

Easy and Inexpensive Ways for Older Adults to Prevent Falls

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among people 65 and older. One-third of older adults will fall, many will be hospitalized, and some will die. You’ve probably heard the common story: A frail senior is doing relatively well until she falls. She breaks a hip, everything seems to go downhill, and she dies. But many falls are preventable. [...]

By |2015-09-11T11:22:08-04:00September 11th, 2015|Caregiver tips|0 Comments

Almost one-in-five intensive care patients may be getting futile treatment

Almost one of every five patients in the intensive care units of a major teaching hospital got treatment that was futile  or “probably” futile, according to the doctors who treated them.  And older patients—especially those admitted from a nursing facility—were most likely to get care that does nothing to improve their quality of life, or even keep them alive for [...]

By |2013-09-11T17:38:02-04:00September 11th, 2013|End of life, Hospitals|2 Comments

More People are Dying at Home and in Hospice, But They are Also Getting More Intense Hospital Care

More people over 65 are dying in hospice care and fewer are dying in hospitals. But this good news is tempered by a very different story. People are also being hospitalized more frequently in the last three months of their lives, are more likely to spend time in intensive care units, and are often receiving hospice care for just a [...]

By |2013-02-06T19:49:40-05:00February 6th, 2013|Aging, End of life, Hospitals, nursing homes|0 Comments