Welcome to Comfort Care Choices

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Based on Palliative Medicine, this site offers information related to both aging and the end-of-life, and particularly for people with incurable or life-limiting diseases.

The purpose of the information is to allow patients and families to make better decisions about their healthcare.  I frequently hear from families, “If I had known ‘X’ would happen, I would have chosen ‘Y’ instead.”  Many people do not realize they always have choices.  The underlying premise of good healthcare is that sufficiently credible information will enable people to make more satisfying choices, especially if their goal is to live more comfortably and reduce suffering.

I hope you will find this information beneficial.

Future Updates:

The information articles (most of which are provided by our palliative care team to patients and their families), and the FAQ’s, etc, will be updated as new evidence becomes available; or as my editorial perspective changes, or as my “editorial board advises”; and the date will be noted at the bottom.

Recent Posts:

Dementia: What Choices Do You Have?

What is dementia? This refers to a group of diseases that cause “confusion” with memory loss. Types of dementia include Alzheimer’s (the most common one), Vascular type (caused by small strokes), Parkinson’s-associated dementia, and others such as Lewy-Body Dementia.  Dementia is progressive and incurable, lasting from three to 10 years.  Progressive means the symptoms get … Read more Dementia: What Choices Do You Have?

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New Guidelines for Diabetes in Seniors

Mom is 82, a diabetic, and her sugars often drop below 100 and she feels lightheaded.  She’s been told that she should keep her sugars between 70 and 120 but we’ve noticed she often feels better if they are higher.  What is a good range of finger-stick sugars for her?

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Healthcare Questions, Part 1

Mom’s health is declining and she talks about being “ready to go”.  My brother wants her to keep having tests and treatments but my sister says we need to stop making her do that. How do we decide what’s really best for her? 

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DM FSBS Guideline

Mom is 82, a diabetic, and her sugars often drop below 100 and she feels lightheaded.  She’s been told that she should keep her sugars between 70 and 120 but we’ve noticed she often feels better if they are higher.  What is a good range of finger-stick sugars for her?

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Feeding Tubes – Myths & Realities

Feeding tubes were designed to artificially provide nutrition in the hopes of maintaining body weight and health, and to prevent dehydration and starvation, when a person could not eat enough calories for whatever reason. There are two kinds of tubes.  One is inserted through the nose to the stomach and taped in place.  It is … Read more Feeding Tubes – Myths & Realities

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Goal Focused Care: How To Choose The Most Appropriate Healthcare While In LTC

Planning for the future is something many do everyday.  Healthcare is no different. Every patient has the right to participate when deciding what kind of medical care is appropriate for them. This information is being offered to help patients and families in nursing homes clarify healthcare related goals and make important decisions about medical treatment.

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Dehydration & Starvation – Myths & Realities

There are many misunderstandings regarding the need for food and fluids at the end-of-life.  The following information will hopefully help you make more informed choices regarding the type of care desired.

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When To Consider “Do Not Admit To Hospital”

What does a “Do Not Admit To Hospital” (DNATH) mean? A “DNATH” order means a resident will not be admitted to the hospital for any reason (although, depending on the situation, there could be exceptions, jointly determined by the family and doctor).  However, a resident could be sent just to the emergency room for something … Read more When To Consider “Do Not Admit To Hospital”

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Allowing for Natural Death – Myth & Reality

CPR refers to Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation and is considered a “heroic” measure which is started when a person’s heart stops in a futile attempt to revive it.  It was originally developed for the middle-aged and has indeed saved some lives.  But, how effective is it for seniors?

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Medication Review: Is There Polypharmacy?

What is Polypharmacy?It is “The practice of administering many different medicines especially concurrently for the treatment of the same disease.” [WMDD]   It means taking more drugs than clinically indicated; and some state it occurs when any senior takes more than five medications total.  [Morley JE.]

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