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End-of-Life Care Subject of NYT Commentaries

September 26, 2014

The New York Times Room for Debate, on September 25, focuses on end-of-life care and includes a commentary from New York Policy Director Carol Rodat.

Rodat addresses the need for training for the home health and personal care aides who provide most of the paid hands-on care at the end of life.

Rodat explains that aides rarely have “advanced training in the chronic and acute diseases and conditions that may lead to a terminal diagnosis.”

In addition to policies that would ensure that aides were well-trained, Rodat notes that family caregivers need far more support and training as well. Family caregivers cannot meet their obligations without appropriate family leave policies, sick days, and flexible work schedules.

Rodat recommends that everyone have “the conversation” with loved ones before they become critically ill. And that policymakers “ensure the assistance that we all need at the end of our lives is … capable and compassionate.”

In addition to Rodat’s commentary, a half-dozen experts in long-term care address issues that include government regulation and enforcement, why people of color disproportionately end up in nursing homes, and how the profit-motive skews care and outcomes.

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