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August 06, 2008

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Gail Rae Hudson

You know what strikes me, Mona, about what you describe as the ultimately desirable action plan for care and treatment of Alzheimer's? Very close to such a team approach already exists. It's called "Hospice". There are a few tweaks this kind of care could use, not only for the terminally ill but if and when it is translated toward the care of long term chronic conditions, especially those involving the elderly. I can't tell you how many times in the last month or so I've thought, "Damn! I wish my mother's professional care had been managed like this starting some years ago!"
Definitely, the addition of a medical advocate, both within the "Hospice" regimen and in translation for long term chronic care would be nice.
But, you know, it's uncanny that these authors have described an approach that is already up and working...just specialized to an exclusive subset, the terminally ill.
It's interesting, too, because, within Hospice, if one doesn't decline for a long time and looks relatively stable, they can be kicked off the program. The Hospice RN and I discussed this possibility with Mom. Whenever I consider this, and I've been considering it on my own previous to yesterday's discussion, I think, "You know, it's just a shame that this kind of care only exists if you can be proven to be dying right now."
At least a template exists. Hopefully "we'll" begin considering that this template is workable for many patients under many types of circumstances.

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