End of Life

Doing Battle with Insurance Companies

Many of us have been in the situation of having an insurance claim rejected. Often it can be solved by simple documentation. It’s a nuisance, but they go away quickly. In other situations, the insurance company digs in and is adamant that you shall not be covered. In some situations, they’re dead wrong and with […]


How Green Are Your Wishes?

For those seniors who are a little more in tune with the environment there is an emerging ‘green burial’ movement. The interesting thing about the green burial movement is the variety of options offered. Most can be classified into two major categories: cremation and whole-body burial. From there many of the choices have to do […]


Breaking Bad News to Elderly Parents

Recently I had to break the news to my parents about the death of my brother. While it was a difficult experience to face, I knew I had to do it so I didn’t put it off. It was a relief that I didn’t muck it up and my parents handled it well. It got […]


How to reduce stress while helping your parents

If you’ve been helping your parents sort out the vagaries of Medicare, or with their prescriptions, or running errands, or…you know the time it takes out of the day. If you’re of the sandwich generation and are managing kids schedules too, you either have the constitution of Martha Stewart, or don’t feel like you’re doing […]


Is there an opposite of caregiver burnout?

We’re always looking for ways of making life easier for us and our parents. Occasionally we run across a great resource that we’ve never seen before and wonder why. Today’s find is a book called Share the Care. As most caregivers know, burnout is not only a real threat to the caregiver, it most certainly […]


Pre Paid Funerals: Weigh Your Options Carefully

A USA Today article by Christine Dugas reports, “to many people, the idea of prepaying for a funeral makes a lot of sense. It can remove a big financial burden from your loved ones, make a stressful time easier for them, and ensure that you will get the kind of funeral you want.” However, there […]


Arlington National Cemetery Eligibility Requirements

March 1st was my Dad’s birthday. As a proud recipient of the United States Air Force’s Distinguished Flying Cross, my father qualified to be buried on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.  Arlington is truly one of our nation’s greatest treasures.  Each time I am there I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for […]


Jane Brody talks about end of life on Diane Rehm

I just caught the last half of an interview with Jane Brody on the Diane Rehm show. I’ve read a number of her books, mostly on health and food. Her writing, both in books and the New York Times, is thoroughly researched and accessible. The topic of end-of-life, like so many things that we cover, […]


Plan a Funeral for $800 or Less

Perhaps I’m not particularly sentimental, but after the medical community is done with my body, I want to be cremated and have my ashes thrown in the eyes of my enemy. And like so many others, my end-of-life plans remain incomplete. I still have yet to write the list of enemies. If you, or your […]


What is POLST?

POLST stands for Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment. A POLST Paradigm form is a brightly colored, medical order form, used to write orders indicating life-sustaining treatment wishes for seriously ill patients. It addresses two needs. It turns treatment wishes of an individual (something you might find on an advanced directive) into actionable medical orders […]