A chronic illness is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured. With chronic illness there is not always a happy ending. And sometimes not even a so-so ending. But communicating about the possible outcomes with loved ones and doctors is an important part of coping with a chronic condition. As reported on the Better Health Channel, an important part of coping with a chronic illness is “thinking about possible outcomes – and discussing them with the doctor can help you to face them before they become a reality.” And I would say the same is true in terms of coping with aging.

I’ve read some things and recently watched a PBS FRONTLINE documentary about dealing with end-of-life conversations. As you can imagine, it’s not the most uplifting topic, but one that is very important. And because Select Home Care plays an important role with the aging and their caregivers, I want our organization to be helpful should these conversations arise.

I found the “Being Mortal” FRONTLINE documentary, for lack of a better word, fascinating. Not fascinating meaning exciting, but intriguing. The documentary based on renowned New Yorker writer and Boston surgeon Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal investigates the practice of caring for the dying, and shows how doctors are often untrained, ill-suited and uncomfortable talking about chronic illness and death with their patients. The documentary uses real-life examples to explore the intersection of life, death, medicine and what matters in the end.

As much as we don’t want to think about having aging and end-of-life conversations, it is important. As a starting point to coping with aging, I encourage you to watch the FRONTLINE documentary. And please don’t hesitate to contact anyone on the Select Home Care Pasadena team to discuss your home care plan.

Being Mortal Documentary