Rethinking End Of Life Care

So much of the U.S. healthcare system is about initiatives to keep older adults healthier longer and to engage them in the management of their own health. But the person-centered care movement, so dominant in today’s senior living models, needs to reach the realm of end-of-life care, too, urged top senior care leaders and policy experts meeting March 20 for a day-long conference in Washington, D.C.

The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) “National Action Conference: Policies and Payment Systems to Improve End-of-Life Care” gathered speakers and attendees in discussions on the complex mix of policies and values surrounding the topic, as well as the tradeoffs between medical treatment and quality of life.

The springboard for the conference was the IOM report “Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life,” released in September 2014. The report called out the inadequacies of the nation’s current approaches to care of the dying and was viewed by many as a call to action for the senior care industry.

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