Illness and Mortality Matters

As most of us realize, aging, serious illness, death and dying are upsetting and difficult life events – in which we feel pressured (and ill-equipped) to make the best choices, usually for other people we care about.

The resources below will give you some context about things we, and our loved ones, face – and the choices available to us, as well as the impacts of the choices a society makes.

Hospital and medical care safety issues
A brief piece on the data surrounding medical mistakes
The current situation for California hospital safety

Disparities in care and care-related outcomes
Recent report on geographical differences in kidney-failure deaths
Geographical differences in cancer care affect outcomes

Issues in senior care
Seattle Times piece on “selling” senior residents with the sale of a care home
Video one and video two – brief videos showing concerning situations for seniors in care facilities in Washington State, and discussing the “business” of senior care.

More positive options – and even considering/talking about them
Aging in place – it’s possible, but not for all of us (and it’s difficult, given our societal policies)
The “Aging in Community” idea, and a good resource for those seeking more info on how to help family and other loved ones age the way they want to
Clearinghouse link to a download for Washington State’s Advance Directive – and a helpful advocacy organization with lots of info on how to get there, for yourself, for those you love, for others

Washington State’s aging and long-term care resources
Our state agency’s website – lots of resources and info here

When it’s time to think about death and funeral options
Assisted suicide – what rights do we have? and where? Here in Wa State, the relatively recent Death with Dignity Act governs our choices
A disturbing, moving, and thought-provoking site about “Suicide Tourism”
How about choices and rights surrounding burial and other things we do for our dead?
A great resource to learn more