Apr 14, 2014 – Too much care

April 14, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: TOO MUCH CARE AT THE END OF LIFE CAN BE A BIG PROBLEM FOR PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Most Medicare beneficiaries experience dementia at the end of life, but those who live in the community as compared to those in care facilities may receive much more
aggressive end of life care, a Johns Hopkins study led by Lauren Hersch Nicholas found.

NICHOLAS: We found that severe dementia patients are getting pretty high levels of aggressive, life-sustaining treatments, intensive care unit stays, and then dying in
the hospital and this was actually more pronounced for patients who remained in the community, where about 30% of the severe dementia patients were. The one
thing we found that really reduced this risk of aggressive care, which is generally the type of care that people describe as not the way they want to die, was written
advance directives. :34

The clear message is the need for everyone to create advance directives, Nicholas says. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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