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- How to Preplan Your Own Funeral July 11, 2023 - When Amy Martin’s mother-in-law died last year at the age of 96, the funeral arrangements were easy. Her mother-in-law had discussed her wishes with her two adult children.
- Green Burials and Other Nontradional Ways to Honor the End of a Life June 5, 2023 - This is part 1 in a our series on funerals. Read part 2 here. Near the end of her mother’s life, Barrie Page Hill began thinking about the funeral and the best way to honor her mother. “My mom was…
- Is Dying at Home Becoming the New Normal? March 23, 2023 - The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a surge in the proportion of Californians who are dying at home rather than in a hospital or nursing home, accelerating a slow but steady rise that dates back at least two decades.
- A Family Grapples with Death February 28, 2023 - It wasn’t the Thanksgiving holiday any of us had expected. Two weeks before, my 94-year-old father-in-law, Melvin Zax, suffered a stroke after receiving dialysis and was rushed to a hospital near his residence in western New York.
- What Happens When Someone Dies without a Will? February 8, 2023 - Years later, the story still haunts attorney Jennifer Cona. A man—in his 70s and in good health—retained her to draw up a will. He wanted to bequeath his sizable estate to his grandson and to a few charities. He did…
- Retooling the Nation’s First Long Term Care Insurance Program June 29, 2022 - Patricia Keys, 71 and a stroke survivor, needs help with many everyday activities, such as dressing and bathing. Her daughter Christina, who lives near her mom in Vancouver, WA, cares for her in the evenings and pays about $3,000 a month for help from other caregivers.
- Top Experts Question the Value of Advance Care Planning May 24, 2022 - For decades, Americans have been urged to fill out documents specifying their end-of-life wishes before becoming terminally ill—living wills, do-not-resuscitate orders and other written materials expressing treatment preferences.
- COVID-19 Is Damaging Bereaved Families October 22, 2020 - Every day, the nation is reminded of COVID-19’s ongoing impact as new death counts are published. What is not well documented is the toll on family members.
- Should You Change Your Living Will Because of the Pandemic? September 30, 2020 - Last month, Minna Buck revised a document specifying her wishes should she become critically ill.
“No intubation,” she wrote in large letters on the form, making sure to include the date and her initials.
- Write Your Own Obituary May 6, 2020 - When Susan deLarios’s mother passed away, she had to scramble to finish the obituary before the funeral. By contrast, when her father died a few years earlier, his obituary was already done—he had written it himself. Given how much easier…
- Is Suicide Ever Simply a Rational Choice? February 25, 2020 - Ten residents slipped away from their retirement community one Sunday afternoon for a covert meeting in a grocery store cafe. They aimed to answer a taboo question: When they feel they have lived long enough, how can they carry out their own swift and peaceful death?
- Lethal Plans: Suicides in Long Term Care Facilities October 8, 2019 - When Larry Anders moved into the Bay at Burlington nursing home in late 2017, he wasn’t supposed to be there long. At 77, the stoic Wisconsin machinist had just endured the death of his wife of 51 years and a grim new diagnosis: throat cancer, stage 4.
- At Death’s Door, Shedding Light on How to Live December 19, 2018 - Nothing so alters a person as learning you have a terminal illness.
Ronni Bennett, who writes a popular blog about aging, discovered that recently when she heard that cancer had metastasized to her lungs and her peritoneum (a membrane that lines the cavity of the abdomen).
- When the Time Comes, Will Your Living Will Prevail? June 21, 2018 - It’s all too easy for medical providers to misinterpret living wills and other end-of-life instructions. In a disturbing report, Judith Graham, a contributing columnist for Kaiser Health News (KHN), covers recent studies that have revealed problems. KHN posted her article…
- They’re Not Well and They’re All Alone March 11, 2018 - Phyllis Krantzman knows what she should do, but like many of her peers, the 71-year-old doesn’t know how to approach a casual acquaintance to ask who will take care of her when she needs it most.
- How to Deal with Your Digital Afterlife January 10, 2018 - Sara Ivey, 63, calls it one of the few gifts of cancer: time to plan. When her husband, Jerald Sluder, was diagnosed with advanced melanoma, the Dallas couple had time to organize his affairs before his death in December 2016…
- Grieving Has Changed: Today People Do It Publicly—Online April 4, 2017 - These days when a loved one dies, we don’t stop clocks and don black for months. There is no sackcloth.
- If Assisted Suicide Is Legalized, Is That Really Good for the Dying? April 4, 2017 - Last spring, everything changed for Matt Larson. “One day I was fine. The next I was being rushed by ambulance to Denver Health following two very massive and violent seizures,” said Larson.
- Holding Stories in Their Hands April 4, 2017 - Thelma is 97. “Did you know I used to be a bartender?” she asks photographer Elaine Zelker.
- Is Medical Marijuana Good Medicine for Older Adults? It’s Complicated April 4, 2017 - After Jane broke her ankle, walking even short distances was a painful challenge. The 63-year-old had been an avid hiker and gardener and was stifled by her limited mobility. To make matters worse, she couldn’t tolerate the side effects of prescription painkillers.