I think the most significant trend in the care for the aging in my lifetime has simply been the fact that our critical care has become so much more sophisticated and effective, at least in terms of prolonging and maintaining life at all costs. This brings up a whole new need that our aging population perhaps never needed in the past, which is that health care providers and families be educated and familiar with the process of dying, not simply as something to avoid but as something that will happen to everyone! It’s crazy to me that we fight off dying with everything we have, because what are we hoping to gain? And it just causes people to have messy and sad deaths.
This is an opinion that I think is held by many people, and definitely by health care professionals, but it’s hard to act accordingly because so many people, in and out of the health field, simply don’t know the ins and outs of death and what it looks like and what to expect. My concern is that lack of education and willingness to discuss death has caused our society to harm elderly people and cheat them of the peaceful death that they desire and deserve.