Cost of dying- lessons learned

by MichelleR on June 7, 2013

So, after ‘The Cost of Dying’ was published, many readers shared their own stories and the lesson learned from the cost of dying.  Krieger lets her readers know what she learned from them…

Lesson 1: Be Prepared (as much as you can)

We need to start thinking about end-of-life care much sooner.  If loved ones are starting to experience health problems, start having honest conversations. *One senior reader said she celebrated her birthday by giving an Advance Directive  form to each guest.

Lesson 2: What are our options?

We need more information about options, and we need them fast.  Readers said it would help to hear early on about the options for comfort care as well as aggressive care.  It would be helpful if Doctors, or someone with this kind of knowledge say, “This is what we can do to stabilize him. This is what it might look like in 24 or 48 hours and here is what it looks like farther down.”

Lesson 3: Guidance and goals

It’s important to look to the future, beyond the immediate crisis.  Some readers said that if they would have know the future would be so bleak, that it would have changed their decisions.  Guidance from the right person can really help to alleviate the overwhelming sense of confusion from all the different Doctors and their opinions and assessments.

Lesson 4: Seriously consider intensive treatment

It’s much more difficult  to stop intensive treatment than to start it.  When you pull out a feeding tube, you’re denying food to your loved one.  When you remove a ventilator , you are letting that loved one suffocate.  Brutal! You feel like you are an accomplice to their death.  The guilt can be overwhelming.  The most important decision is to whether to start those intensive treatments at all.


-Check in next week for more lessons learned

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