Dementia and the Right to Die

Q. During her last two years of agony, my mother would look at me and her doctors and nurses often and say, "Can't you just give me a little black pill?" It was obvious to all of us what she meant and, of course, all we could say … [Read more...]

Please Stop Feeding Me!

Last weekend, I presented at the Positive Aging Fair, and my PR Director, Renee, staffed our expo booth. Renee told me and Jeannie about another booth at the expo that was particularly memorable, because the representative brought … [Read more...]

Overcoming the Fear of Death

Q. My mother always said that there are two topics to avoid in conversation, whenever possible: religion and politics. Unlike some of my Facebook friends and others I have known, I took this advice to heart and don’t have many … [Read more...]

Advance Directives Mean Less Costly Care

Q. My aunt died ten years ago without an advance directive. I will never forget the fight between her husband and the rest of the family about life saving measures before she died. He insisted that she would have wanted them, when … [Read more...]

Making Health Care Decisions for Someone Else

A lifelong family friend asked Jane if she would be her health care agent under an Advance Medical Directive (AMD) she was planning to sign. Jane didn’t know what to say or think, so she said, “Sure. I would be happy to.” But she … [Read more...]

Do New Electronic Medical Record Systems Make It Difficult to Access Advance Directives?

Q. I have heard several horror stories about Advance Directives being unavailable when needed, as more hospitals are implementing new systems to store and access electronic medical records. Or, in other cases, patients’ documents … [Read more...]

The Most Important Awareness Day of the Year (and only 20- 30% realize it!)

Anne is 71 years old, and her health is rapidly declining. When her time comes, she is confident that she wants to donate her organs to help someone else live a longer and healthier life. She also wants to be buried next to her … [Read more...]

A “Guardian Angel” When One is Needed Most

Marjorie never felt alone at her nursing home. Although her husband died last year, and her children couldn’t be there a lot of the time to visit her, she seemed content. Her ability to speak clearly and her memory were … [Read more...]

Strong or Vulnerable? Social Security in its 80th Year

For 80 years, Social Security has been protecting American families from both expected and unexpected challenges. Last week, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report to Congress, which projects that Social … [Read more...]

Would You Want This In Your Advance Medical Directive?

Jerome Medalie can't imagine life with Alzheimer's. And, he has made it known that he doesn't want to be around if he can't “recognize his loved ones” or “articulate coherent thoughts and sentences.” He did so formally and legally … [Read more...]