Eight “cures” to reduce suffering and cost of dying (SJMN, 12-29-12)

Lisa Krieger has a wonderful series in the San Jose Mercury News on the cost of dying (mercurynews.com/cost-of-dying).  Local support group member Barbara, who was quoted in one of the earlier articles as a Lewy Body Dementia caregiver, sent me a link to the final article in the series.  It was published at the end of 2012.

Lisa Krieger says that

“Our conversation has taught us that, yes, there is a cure for the cost of dying in America. It will reduce suffering and expense…”

She lists eight “cures”:

Cure 1: Take charge of our deaths by putting wishes in writing

Cure 2: Involve entire communities in commitment to planning

Cure 3: Encourage doctors to talk more frankly about choices

Cure 4: Pay doctors to help patients decide what’s best for them

Cure 5: Avoid costly care that won’t prolong or improve life

Cure 6: Offer better comfort care to patients in their final days

Cure 7: Pay families to help at home instead of using hospitals

Cure 8: Broaden use of comfort care through Medicare, insurance

In Cure 1, the author points out that:

“While 82 percent of Californians say it is important to have end-of-life wishes in writing, only 23 percent of us have done so, according to a poll by the California HealthCare Foundation.”

Hopefully you’ve all — whether you have a neurological disorder or not — have completed an advance care directive!

In response to an earlier article in the series, local support group member Richard encouraged everyone to consider purchasing long-term care insurance as a way of covering some of the expenses of are. Caregivers may want to consider such insurance for themselves.

Here’s a link to the article about the eight “cures”:


Cost of Dying: Discovering a better way for final days
San Jose Mercury News
By Lisa M. Krieger 
Posted:   12/29/2012 04:00:00 PM PST
Updated:   01/04/2013 08:27:57 PM PST