New York Times Report: Dying at Home May Be the First Choice – but it May Not Be the Best Choice for Everyone

Is dying at home overrated? That’s the provocative subtitle that brought a recent New York Times article to our attention. In survey after survey, most Americans say they prefer to die in their own homes, and conventional wisdom says that the familiar environment of home and family is the optimum place to pass away. But…

AgingOptions Follow-Up: Dying at Home Is Possible, Says Rajiv Nagaich, but People Have to Plan Ahead

Last week here on the AgingOptions blog, we ran this story based on a NextAvenue article describing a damning statistic. According to surveys, roughly 80 percent of Americans say they would prefer to pass away in the familiar comfort of their own home, yet only about 20 percent actually succeed in taking their last breath…

Shocking CDC Report: for the First Time in a Century, U.S. Life Expectancy Declines Three Years in a Row

The last time it happened, the world was at war, and one of history’s worst influenza pandemics was ravaging the country. That’s why health scientists were shocked at the recently released report of U.S. life expectancy from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: the CDC survey showed a noticeable drop for the third year…

What’s Wrong with this Picture? Life Expectancy Declines in a Majority of High-Income Nations Worldwide

We like to read about advances in medical technology and about victories over life-threatening diseases. It makes us feel good to think that medical science has all the answers. But at a time when medical spending is at an all-time high, newly-released data shows that for the first time in decades life expectancy for both…

Everyone Dies Someday – but Where? New Study Shows Increasing Rate of Seniors Dying at Home, Not in Hospital

If you’ve heard our AgingOptions radio program, read our blog or attended a LifePlanning Seminar, this statement should sound familiar: one of the things seniors fear most is being forced late in life into institutional care against their wishes. We would add a corollary to that statement to say that, given a choice, older people…

Barbara Bush’s Death Teaches Lessons about Comfort Care

The issues of comfort care and end of life medical decisions are front and center with the death of Barbara Bush. Earlier this week America lost one of its best-known and most-admired citizens, former First Lady Barbara Bush. She passed away Tuesday April 17th at age 92 in her Houston home, surrounded by family, including her husband George H.W. Bush, our 41st President.

Extreme Advance Directive Allowing Dementia Patients to Refuse Food and Water Triggers Controversy

Is it “an informed and thoughtful choice,” or is it a “disturbing” threat to “the most vulnerable in society”?  A newly-drafted advanced directive in New York State is already provoking deep controversy among medical ethicists, geriatric physicians, and families of those with dementia. The controversy is explained in this article that appeared last week on…