Empathy is a crucial component when working with older adults [PODCAST]

“Empathy is more than just loving an elderly loved one. It is more than simply making the decision we may feel is best for our loved one. Empathy is different from sympathy. Empathy means putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes and making an in…

We will soon see a mental health pandemic that will cause unnecessary deaths

Consents have become a prominent part of health care. We sign consents for visits, procedures, medication, privacy, release of information, care of minors … the list goes on and on. We must acknowledge and respect the patient’s autonomy in their care. …

How telemedicine led to my personal and professional growth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Telemedicine blossomed into an essential tool in health care overnight due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. It is a long lost innovation at the forefront of our battle. Telemedicine is especially valuable for our frail older adult patients. At the initi…

How telemedicine led to my personal and professional growth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Telemedicine blossomed into an essential tool in health care overnight due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. It is a long lost innovation at the forefront of our battle. Telemedicine is especially valuable for our frail older adult patients. At the initi…

A chaplain’s reflections in long-term care in the early days of COVID-19

Astor lies in a reclining wheelchair, surrounded by community, gathered for morning prayer. A rosary,  woven between folded fingers rests upon her belly. Astor murmurs: “Help me. Help me. I am all alone.” Today, the last Friday in March, I am assisting…

Loneliness is a silent epidemic crying out to be heard

She reached for my hand, her hands gnarled, the skin fragile, translucent, road mapped by bluish veins: Hands that had done much in her 87 years. She looked at me from her hospital bed and with voice trembling, her eyes tearing, spoke words that penetr…

How social distancing affects vulnerable nursing home residents

On a cold evening in early March, my grandpa and I queued outside a nursing home in rural California. He pulled an insulated lunchbox, filled with hot chai and pureed rotis, to his chest and sighed. There are at least eight families in front of us, and…

The exacerbation of social isolation among the elderly

COVID-19 has rapidly spread across the nation, leading to the implementation of stringent social distancing guidelines by local and regional authorities. In a desperate effort to limit infection rates, in-person social interactions have been reduced, a…

The patient who gave me back my humanity

His breathing was rapid and shallow; O2 in place, his eyes stared at the ceiling of the hospital room. He was a soldier in his late 20s, his once strong body now emaciated, a shell of its former self. His arms rested on top of the bedsheet, bluish nodu…

The final words that are a precious reminder of why I went into medicine

I have cared for them both, husband and wife, now in their 80s, for almost 20 years. She is a retired nurse and him from his business. They are so typical of this “greatest generation”: tough, enduring, hard-working, deeply faithful, fervently independ…

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