A hundred years ago, serious illness was short lived, and death came quickly. Today, people might experience years of illness with repeated hospitalization and decline before death. What happens when medical interventions have little more to offer? Although many opt for symptom management alone, others unfortunately receive care they don’t want and can’t benefit from.
Join us to explore palliative care and the challenges faced by seriously ill people and their families within the modern health care system. You will learn about today’s rapidly changing approaches to end of life, and the urgent need to ensure that individuals receive the care they really want.
We will see how the hospice movement has expanded globally. We’ll explore the origins and development of palliative care, compare different cultural experiences of it and look at likely future demands. We’ll see how health care can help create myths about palliative care, and we’ll critique the media’s role in how we view aging. We will discuss how to initiate earlier planning and palliative care, and explore the challenges of end-of-life conversations.
In addition, we’ll examine the unprecedented impacts of modern-day medicine and the aging baby boomer generation, learning how changes in epidemiology, demography and medical technology have affected end of life. We will contrast traditional health care approaches and the relatively new concept of death denial. We’ll discuss increasingly complicated end-of-life ethical dilemmas in a changing legal framework. And we’ll reflect on personal experiences and the needs of everyone affected by a death.
This course will be of interest to health professionals, spiritual advisors, policy-makers, researchers, educators, gerontologists, social workers, alternative medical practitioners, volunteers, caregivers and anyone else seeking a deeper understanding of the increasingly complex field of end of life.