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It's Never too Early to Start End-of-Life Planning

by John C. Wolf, DO

The natural consequence of being born is death. Most of us will have at least some advanced warning before we die from diseases such as heart disease or cancer. Some of us will die suddenly and unexpectedly. It's never too early to start end of life planning.

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Bringing Cultural and Spiritual Sensitivity to End-of-Life Care

The ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity that gives America its own unique background is also adding a new dimension to the special needs that healthcare practitioners must address when providing end-of-life care to members of these different communities.

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Managing Pain Effectively to Assure Quality of Life at End of Life

Effectively managing the physical pain associated with terminal illness does not extend a dying person's life. However, lessening that pain can enhance the quality of life at the end of life by enabling people to coherently discuss a child's future, put their affairs in order, or perhaps even visit a special place one last time.

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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Pain

OMT is effective as an adjunctive therapy to help control and ease somatic pain that many people suffer from during the final stages of life. Somatic pain includes that of the muscles, skin, bone, and other soft tissues.

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Osteopathic Medicine and End-of-Life Care

As the average life expectancy in the US increases and the number of older Americans continues to rise, more and more adults, their families, and healthcare professionals are addressing the many issues and decisions surrounding "end-of-life" care and support.

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Financing End-of-Life Care Programs

Typically, hospice care at the end of life is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance companies, and managed care organizations. Community contributions, memorial donations, and other gifts often make free care possible for patients without sufficient funds, and some programs charge patients according to their ability to pay.

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A Message from Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) . . .

Hospice Care Enhances Dignity and Peace As Life Nears Its End

Hospice care, a fully reimbursable Medicare Part A benefits option for beneficiaries and providers since 1983, offers the services designed to address the physical and emotional pain through effective palliative treatment when cure is not possible.

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