One day we will face our own mortality, and need someone to listen to our stories

I am sitting in a hospital room in Birmingham, Alabama. My 87-year-old father lies in a bed, frail, thin, and weak. This once physically strong and imposing man is a shell of who he was, of who he will always be in my mind – a larger-than-life Ra…

Let’s look at what’s right about nursing homes [PODCAST]

“Extensive media coverage of the emotional and death tolls that COVID-19 inflicted on nursing homes has intensified concern for preserving the humanity of an often-overlooked population. There is an opportunity to re-examine the policies and prac…

Put yourself in the shoes of a nursing home resident [PODCAST]

“Visit a nursing home and talk with some of the residents. They are not only moms and dads, but also retired teachers, first responders, former athletes, government employees, and soldiers—the basis of our country’s past lives within these walls….

During COVID, older patients stopped going to the doctor. Here’s how to change that.

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out last year, Helen (not her real name) took all the right steps to protect herself. The 74-year-old self-isolated, wore a face mask, and practiced social distancing. Helen stayed safe from the virus during this time, …

Reflections on caring for parents with dementia

A guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD. My mother recently died at 94 years of age.  This followed the death of my father around 5 years ago at the age of 88 years.  Although both of my parents lived long and general…

The nuanced issues behind guardianship

“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” -Daniel H. Pink There has been much public discussion relating to guardianship and its tenants.  It is tempting to draw conclusions around topics related to current events, while …

The nursing home crucible

Harriet broke her hip and needed surgery. Post-operatively, the hospital was swift to push her out the door, while Medicare controlled the financial strings. Instead of going home, she went to a nursing home. During the pandemic, she never saw her fami…

Change to Gilead Assistance Program Threatens PrEP Access, HIV Advocates Say

Safety-net clinics especially are bracing for how the drugmaker’s policy shift could reduce their budgets and hamstring their ability to provide care to an at-risk population.

We need to re-examine quality-of-life metrics in nursing homes

One June afternoon, Susan came in from gardening to find that her husband, John, was missing. After a frantic scan around their wooded lot, she called 911 and soon had sheriffs, firefighters, and a state police helicopter scouring nearby parklands in p…

Two-Thirds of the Public Say the U.S. Should Play a Major Role in Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines Globally, But Not Most Republicans

With increased attention to the global need for COVID-19 vaccines and the Biden administration’s announcement today about how it plans to distribute the first portion of the 80 million doses it will share by the end of this month, the latest KFF Health…

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