End-of-Life Care for Patients With Advanced Dementia

I found this piece, End-of-Life Care for Patients With Advanced Dementia, published on the NY Times blog about old age.  The primary argument is that those with End Stage Dementia are underserviced in hospice care and greater awareness is needed.  On the flip side, I think that the challenge of creating sound criteria for End Stage Dementia should nt be so easily disregarded.  For starters, to offer palliative care, there needs to be a certain baseline, regardless of the question of access.  Often the lack of hospice care for anyone is more related to either doctors not wanting to refer or to families not realizing the medicare benefit is available for people that are dying from non-cancer diseases.  Truth is, only about 1/3 of those who die in the USA die receiving hospice or palliative care.  Before we go and change the eligibility, we should first work on greater hospice advocacy. 

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