Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dying In America: Care Should Be Kinder

Editor's note: This article is part of a year-long project about aging well, planning for the changes aging brings and shaping how society thinks about aging. 

Last week’s release of the Dying in America Report adds to the discussion those of us in the field have been having for years. Its 507 pages clearly demonstrate that our country's system of delivering care to the elderly is badly broken.

The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report is especially timely as the number of those suffering from “some combination of frailty, physical and cognitive disabilities, chronic illness and functional limitations,” grows.

We need more care that puts these patients — no matter their wealth or cultural background — at the center of care.

(MORE: Help Parents Avoid Unwanted Medical Treatment)

Another key point the report makes is that we need to understand how care needs have changed and why Medicare should support long-term care.

To paraphrase Hamlet, the health care system is out of joint. It simply has not kept up with the change in disease patterns. We have built the equivalent of a medical Maginot Line. Just as the French built fortifications to refight World War I only to have them totally circumvented by armored columns, we remain geared up to fight against acute disease in an era dominated by chronic illness.

The Dying In America report's finding that we spend large amounts on ineffective (and often dangerous) care at the end of life is but one symptom of this much larger problem.

Full Article & Source:
Dying In America: Care Should Be Kinder

1 comment:

Finny said...

Hospice has become big business and that's part of the problem. People are basically unaware.