caregiver taking care of elderly woman

What I’ve Learned Over a Lifetime of Caring for the Dying

A wonderful new article by the New York Times: “What I’ve Learned Over a Lifetime of Caring for the Dying”


“While I slept in my home, my mother lay dying on the bathroom floor in her home in another state. She was not alone. Her longtime professional home health aide was by her side, propping a hastily grabbed pillow and holding her hand.

Because I am a palliative care physician, I had been preparing myself and my family for the moment of her death for a long time. My mother, after all, was 92, frail, and had dementia. At this point in her life, it would come down to the place where she would die and who was there in her last moments.

My experience as a physician — a professional life spent mainly tending to the dying — and as a daughter who navigated my mother’s last years with chronic illness, has kept me alert to the national conversations now taking place about the role of professional caregiving as essential health care.”

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