We continue learning from Rebecca Katz, who is a chef, author and nutritionist who specializes in cooking for cancer patients and survivors. Her philosophy is: the way our patients eat can transform their end-of-life experiences:
“Often times, food can be a tremendous comfort to people who are terminally ill, but not the way you may think,” she says.
It’s January, and families are facing some serious decisions about quality of life.
For some, it may mean a new gym membership. For others, it might mean looking for ways to ease the pain of a terminally ill family member through a regimen of palliative care.
Palliative care is a relatively new and growing field. The definition of a person who needs palliative care ranges from a patient with chronic health problems that could become terminal, to a patient who is on their final rounds of chemotherapy.
Physicians started the new year with two new billing codes for advance care planning. As of January 1, 2016, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will now pay physicians for discussing advance care planning with their patients. These conversations can include advance directives, terminal diagnoses and end-of-life care options.
Death, dying, and the end of life.
That’s how the editor of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) describes the content of its January 19, 2016 issue. Perhaps it is coincidence that this month marks the start of coverage of patient-physician discussions about end-of-life by mandate of the Affordable Care Act, or perhaps it is the convergence of a movement in healthcare that has been growing since hospice was first introduced in 1974. Either way, doctors are talking about the quality of life at the end, and the quality of death.
It’s not uncommon to think about end-of-life eating and visualize the presence of some sort of feeding tube. The truth is, the presence of that feeding tube isn’t always so common. Deciding on whether or not to use a feeding tube is a huge decision for a family or caregiver to make and it’s not a simple black-and-white choice. The decision process takes time.