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Abandoning Treatment Due to Age Alone

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When caring for older adults with comorbidities, especially those at the extreme upper limits of life…
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For some older individuals’ chronic conditions, the odds of a positive outcome may seem too distant or the patient’s discomfort—or, in many jurisdictions, the financial burden—may act as a barrier to the pursuit of answers.

When caring for older adults with comorbidities, especially those at the extreme upper limits of life, it may be easy for providers to lessen the intensity of their curiosity and medical investigation. For some older individuals’ chronic conditions, the odds of a positive outcome may seem too distant or the patient’s discomfort—or, in many jurisdictions, the financial burden—may act as a barrier to the pursuit of answers.

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Planning for the Future: Expected and Unexpected

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For those of us who are planners, it seems perfectly natural to anticipate the possibilities of the future...
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My late father, an engineer whose expertise was motor vehicles, drummed into me the importance of timely oil changes—which I do to this day: it is an almost obsession with me.

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Treating Patients as Real People, Not a Collection of Symptoms

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It’s understandable that physicians and nurses are primarily concerned with the medical conditions they’re responsible for treating.
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Instead of asking a new patient, “How are you?” I recommend asking, “So who are you?”

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A Few Degrees of Separation

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I have often talked about how important stories are when it comes to medical care.
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Instead of asking a new patient, “How are you?” I recommend asking, “Who are you?”—meaning, “What is your story?”

I have often talked about how important stories are when it comes to medical care. We must, of course, use the best available medical knowledge to benefit our patients, but I believe it is also important to find the humanistic aspects of care and build on them, in order to foster human relationships.The importance of learning the patient’s personal story is key to achieving this goal.

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The Need to Feed—A Powerful Force

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The mothers of all living species appear to have a biologically determined need to feed their young.
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Food is clearly one of the essentials of life. Most people in the more developed world consider food as much for its culinary delights and aesthetics than for its nourishment attributes.

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Dealing with Family Strife

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Physicians usually become adept at choosing medications for the complaints and illnesses that patients bring to their attention.
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One always hopes that as medical practitioners, we will be able to focus our attention on the medical issues faced by seniors…

One always hopes that as medical practitioners, we will be able to focus our attention on the medical issues faced by seniors and help families cope with the fears, disappointments and tragedies that are faced by loved ones in the midst of what are often life-altering illnesses.

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