Did you know that many medicare recipients would have to choose between medication and housing costs or even food, if they had a serious medical condition? Healthcare costs are a large contributor to bankruptcy filing in the elderly.
Could your parents (or you) afford medication that cost 10, 15, 20 thousand dollars or more annually to treat a serious medical condition? Me either.
The PAN Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides assistance to over 200 thousand people a year. They offer grants to subsidize prescription medication costs for 70 different diseases.
Listen to my conversation with Dan Klein to find out:
who qualifies for a grant
how to apply
what you can do to decrease out of pocket expenses
where you can find assistance to figure these things out
Every day people get thrust into the role of family caregiver. Sometimes it’s a slow acclimatization, sometimes it’s like getting shot out of a cannon. Life can change on a dime. Would you know what to do if a medical emergency happened to a close family member?
It’s not a given that you won’t become a family caregiver until something happens to one of your parents. This is one of the lessons of this story. Donna O’Donnell Figurski never thought it would happen to her. She talks today about the struggles (and triumphs) she and her husband encountered as he suffered and they recovered from a traumatic brain injury caused by a hemorrhage (stroke).
The other lesson? People often don’t even recognize that they ARE family caregivers! Listen to Donna discuss her experience and her book, Prisoners Without Bars
Donna share what she learned from their experience, as well as two tips to family caregivers. Listen in and find out what can help you through the challenges.
Find out more about Donna Figurski and her work with traumatic brain injury here:
What are you doing for elders? It’s a question Dr. Louise Aronson suggests we ask. Whenever there is talk about changes that includes adults and children. And it should be important to you, no matter what your age, because if you don’t die prematurely, you’re going to live to be an elder.
Explore other topics related to Elderhood in this interview, including:
Where the US Healthcare system is ranked globally
What a geriatrician is
Why you may not be able to find one
When you should transition your care to a geriatrician
What is needed to improve the care available to our aging population
Re-released in an effort to give visibility to Tina and her project, with a public apology from me…Here you go Tina!
Tina is a photo artist who had a significant fear of death. A $2 book on the clearance rack changed her life. She no longer fears death, and has taken on a Ph.D project to let others talk about their beliefs about death and what happens when we die.
She shares these stories (and her brilliant portrait photography) on her website
She is a pioneer. She wants to decrease the fear people have around death. Breaking down barriers about end of life conversations. What is death? What happens when we die? Because of her experience reading/talking with others about near death experiences, she has changed her beliefs.
We need more pioneers in this area. Death is a normal part of the circle of life. We should be able to talk about death as easily as we talk about birth, weddings, graduations…any other normal life process.
If we can have these conversations, we can diminish our cultural fear of death, and encourage more conversation about what individuals really want (or don’t want) when faced with a life limiting illness.
It’s all about quality, whatever that means to an individual, and our job as family members/friends/advocates is to uphold the wishes of those we love. Death is an amazing teacher.
You can connect with the Death Letter Project on the website, or the Facebook Page:
It seems that no one sees “normal dying” anymore. The news and social media focus on tragic and unusual deaths. We don’t talk about death and dying because it scares people and makes them uncomfortable.
Having the dying process described to you is way less terrifying than what you can conjure up in your own mind. In fact, it can be comforting. Just ask Dr. Kathryn Mannix’s patients. Even physicians can learn from her. They can be so busy trying to stop death, that they don’t “see” the pattern of approaching death. And see how intrinsically calming recognizing this pattern can be to a family.
She has been helping people navigate end of life and death for decades, and “is on a mission to reclaim public understanding of dying”. Her book With the End in Mind is an anthology of stories that clearly demonstrates her work. And I can’t recommend this book enough! To both healthcare professionals AND the general public.
Find out in today’s episode:
How death is like birth
What Cognitive Behavior Therapy is
Why knowing what to expect can make the experience easier