In the Economist film shared here we see - at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in north-west England - Michael being cared for by Dr Peter Kirkbride, who is pioneering a new approach that gives patients a greater say in their end of life care.
Parents understood dementia could descend on the children, erasing their memories and thrusting them into episodes of anger and tears. They could lose the strength to run, then to walk, then to crawl. These would leave the parents with an agonising choice: Tube-feed their children, or let them die.
Her parting words to Dr. Harmala were, “Do not ever let anyone suffer unnecessary pain. For this is how cancer wins”. Despite everything she has to endure, Dr Harmala calls Sumita a fortunate one because she’s well aware of the fact that in India only 0.4% of the patients who require pain relieving medication get access to it. While others have to spend their final days suffering with excruciating pain.
The sad fact is that we frequently don’t know how to best care for the old. Treatments rarely target older adults’ particular physiology, and the old are typically excluded from clinical studies. Sometimes they are kept out based on age alone, but more often it’s because they have one of the diseases that typically accompany old age. And yet we still end up basing older people’s treatment on this research, because too often it is all we have.
After Briar died, her friends brought to life her last project — a joyful, awkward water ballet in the wading pool. A few weeks after she died, her friends charged into the wading pool in matching, green swimsuits.
“Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies; they protect our brains,” said Waldinger. “And those good relationships, they don’t have to be smooth all the time. Some of our octogenarian couples could bicker with each other day in and day out, but as long as they felt that they could really count on the other when the going got tough, those arguments didn’t take a toll on their memories.”
Knowing that she couldn’t travel to Cleveland, I emailed… on Tommy’s website, asking if there was a way to get a milkshake the 375 miles from Coventry Road to Arlington, Virginia where she was in hospice. A few days later I got a call from Tommy. “Yes. We will figure out a way to do this,” said Sam.
Sometimes we need to make every moment count, more so when we know a loved one has very limited time to be with us. A couple decided to make lasting memories of their baby, who had only a few days of life in him.