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Patients and Caregiver Stories

5 Action Steps to Improve End-of-Life Care in Your Community

While we may not be able to singlehandedly transform the death industry in our country, each one of us can do something in our lives and our own communities to make a difference. We just have to be creative and strongly motivated to implement change.

In a recent interview, Dr. Ira Byock, palliative care physician and author of Dying Well, stated:

"This is really the most important issue we face -- this is what it means to be human ... At the moment in which we are holding the torch for civilization, in a sense, we have to say it matters how we care for people at the end-of-life."

If you are concerned at all about your own end-of-life or how your parents and your children will be cared for when they die, you understand the urgency behind Dr. Byock's words. We need to transform the way people die in our country and we need to begin that process now.

Our current abysmal statistics in end-of-life care (70 percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but only 25 percent actually do) are the result of multi-layered issues that are societal, cultural, medical, economical, financial, and political in nature. So how can we make a difference? How can we even begin to change such a vast and complex system?

Read more.