The Heart of the Matter

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/06/doctors-patients-heart-care-decisions-american-heart-association_n_1323790.html

This is an excellent article, and extremely timely. This is the type of discussion we engage in on a regular basis. Dying is terrifying for some, but living isn’t necessarily easier. My favorite piece of advice:

“Considering palliative care, which does not mean stopping treatment.”

Since the beginning of February, I have made it one of my missions to reiterate this point until someone tells me to shut up.

We all want to instill hope and save life. There are miracles from time to time. However, it is frustrating rather than helpful to instill a false sense of hope. Mortality is a heavy-hearted matter. Sometimes, it is the healthcare provider who needs to learn to let go.

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About C

If you consider volunteering at a luncheon for older adults as my first exposure to the field, I have been in geropsychology for at least twenty years. As family, friend, volunteer, trainee, and professional, I have found myself in adult day care centers, senior centers, senior living facilities, nursing homes, medical and psychiatric wards, hospice, and personal homes of older adults. Wherever I go, be it an orphanage, a museum, a prison, an airport, or a random corner in the neighborhood, issues related to aging and mental health often come to mind. I used to think that I could make a difference only if I became a top-notch researcher, educator, or clinician. As I continue to follow this meandering path, it dawns on me that as a nobody in the field, I can still add my light to the sum of light by sharing what I know. Over the years, I have "converted" a few very dedicated individuals to focus on aging-related work within their respective disciplines and encouraged a handful more to stay in this field despite its winding course. I believe by bringing aging and mental health issues to the foreground, we will amass a stronger force to promote advocacy, research, and quality care.
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