Unless you get on the wrong airplane or harbor a relentless cancer, doctors say you can pretty much count on living to be 90. A hundred years ago, it was age 50. For many women, that would have meant dying before menopause. Now it means living half a lifetime with hormones on the fritz.
When his mother fell for the second time, Steve Smith was ready to put the plan in motion.
When 52-year-old Rosey Ramsey had a stroke in August 2002 she was one of the lucky ones.
A growing senior population is changing the way society approaches life and death. “People are dying differently now,” says Judy Citko, executive director of the Coalition for Compassionate Care. In the past, patients had to choose between giving up on treatment or forging ahead with sometimes drastic measures. In contrast to the traditional focus on treatment of individual episodes at any physical and financial cost, medical experts, patients and their families are demanding a new way of approaching their final months and years.
Nearly 800,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke each year, making it the leading cause of disability in the U.S. What’s more, health problems are a principle driver for mortgage foreclosures and personal bankruptcies, leading to billions in financial impact.
With conventional health care becoming more technologically advanced and increasingly expensive, Dr. Maxine Barish-Wreden sees the future of medicine embracing meditation, massage, yoga, tai chi, nutrition and other “softer therapies.”
Millions of dollars could soon be available for rural health care providers across the nation.
Efrain Marrero’s friends and family described him as caring and gentle. Never a troublemaker or much of a risk taker, it came as a shock to the community when the 19-year-old college athlete was found dead in his family’s home.
Bruce Coolidge, programming director for Capital Athletic Club in downtown Sacramento, wears a Garmin Forerunner 305.
Avery Benedict-Hall can’t talk, but when he slides onto a horse every Saturday morning at 11, his audience can hear the sound of his smile: clap, clap, clap. The 9-year-old has a host of neurological disorders, including cerebral palsy, autism and cortical visual impairment. Clapping is a soothing stimulant for many children with autism.