Our culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care. The crux of these conversations is that medicine will do everything possible and then when you give up you will go on hospice care. That is a mistake. Read more →


Dear Carol: My parents are so isolated in their home because their neighborhood is so changed that they want to move to assisted living. Apparently, they’ve heard good things about these facilities from friends but most of these friends are better off financially than my parents. I’ve tried to convince them to come north to be near me, but that’s not going to happen, and I have a job that I’m firmly planted in up north so I can’t move there. I’ll fly down to help them decide about a facility, and again to move, but I’d like assistance in sorting the choices. Can I trust the senior “placement” companies that I see advertised?– PR Read more →


The people we love and care for often reach a point where we can no longer be sole care providers and we need to look at options. This is painful because up to this point we’ve likely been partners in their care but haven’t had to make forceful decisions. Now, things have changed. Because so many people have a negative view of nursing homes, the idea of going to a care facility terrifies many older people and being the person to make this decision can be agony. Read more →