Terminal Illness

  • 5 Things Terminal Patients Want to Talk About With Their Doctor

    Good communication between doctors, patients and caregivers is key, especially when it comes to the complex concerns surrounding end-of-life care preferences.

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  • Confronting a Serious Diagnosis like it's a House on Fire

    When we are confronted with a potentially fatal diagnosis for ourselves or a loved one, we can find ourselves caught up in endless cycle of "why." Don't get stuck questioning, take action for yourself and your loved ones.

    2 Comments
  • When a Serious Diagnosis Causes a Senior to Consider Suicide

    Receiving the news of a serious diagnosis like cancer or dementia may cause a senior to consider suicide, but caregiver intervention and the development of productive coping techniques can help.

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  • What to Say to Someone Who Is Dying

    It's hard to find the right words to comfort someone who is dying. Experts and experienced caregivers share their insights on what to say to someone who is terminally ill.

    15 Comments
  • What Is Palliative Care and How Does It Differ From Hospice?

    While there are many similarities between hospice and palliative care, the latter is an important part of managing symptoms in seriously ill patients at any stage in their disease progression.

    18 Comments
  • Assisted Dying: Merciful or an Affront to the Value of Life?

    Should terminally ill patients be able to voluntarily end their life? There are many ethical implications regarding this hotly debated topic, but many proponents of the right-to-die stress how such a choice can help patients avoid unnecessary suffering.

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  • My Nightly Ritual With Dad

    When I moved home to take care of my dad, I was determined to make the most of every remaining second we had together. I envisioned fun outings and reminiscing about the past, but it turns out that he had other plans in mind.

    18 Comments
  • Treating Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Needs at the End of Life

    Many people associate end-of-life care with treating physical pain and discomfort. While that is an important part, complete end-of-life care also includes helping the dying person manage mental and emotional distress.

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  • Does Medicare Pay for Hospice Care?

    The Medicare hospice benefit provides comfort care for patients who are facing the end of life. Original Medicare will cover hospice services for terminally ill seniors (and their family members) if they meet eligibility requirements.

    18 Comments
  • Why Caregivers Shouldn't Feel Guilty About Calling Hospice

    Calling in hospice for the care of an elderly parent or other a loved one means you need to come to terms, on all levels, with the idea that this person is dying.

    37 Comments
  • What Is a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order and How Does It Work?

    A do-not-resuscitate order (DNR) is an advance care planning document that specifies what potentially life-sustaining medical interventions a person does not want to receive. A basic DNR order usually states a patient’s wish to avoid undergoing CPR.

    36 Comments
  • How to Alleviate Physical Pain at the End of Life

    Making a person who is dying more comfortable and alleviating physical pain is an important priority for family caregivers. Physical comfort and pain management should be the focus of providing end of life care.

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  • Why Do People Die From Alzheimer’s Disease?

    The most noticeable symptom of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is memory loss, but this progressive condition ultimately weakens the immune system and prevents the body from functioning properly. Complications like infections are often the cause of death.

    53 Comments
  • Creating a Bucket List: Tips for Seniors and Family Caregivers

    What would you like to accomplish with your care recipient before your journey together ends? A veteran caregiver shares her suggestions for creating and executing a bucket list with an aging or ill loved one.

    6 Comments
  • Why Every Woman Needs a Friend Like Rhoda Morgenstern

    Every woman needs a friend like Rhoda Morgenstern, the beloved roommate from the "Mary Tyler Moore Show." Here are 5 indisputable reasons why.

    3 Comments
  • POLST Programs: When Advance Directives Aren't Enough

    Advance directives are useful for end-of-life care planning, but there's another tool that goes one step further. POLST forms enable terminally ill elders to turn their future care preferences into explicit medical orders for doctors and first responders.

    3 Comments
  • Faith, Caregiving and Doing It Differently the Second Time Around

    When my wife was diagnosed with Stage III cancer I knew our lives would never be the same. I'd been a caregiver once before, but this time would be much different.

    2 Comments
  • 6 Common Hospice Care Myths

    The day that you call hospice is not the day that you give up on your loved one. A former hospice nurse dispels common misconceptions surrounding end-of-life care.

    39 Comments
  • Hospice for People with Terminal Cancer

    What services does hospice provided to someone who has cancer and is terminally ill?

    3 Comments
  • The Common Myth Believed by People With Advanced Cancer

    People receiving treatment for serious cancers may harbor false hopes for a full recovery. Chemotherapy can give someone suffering from late-stage cancer a few more weeks or months of life, but the likelihood of a cure in the later stages of these diseases is very rare.

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