Diary of a Passionate Advocate

Family Caregiver Alliance

Amy Berman, an advocate extraordinaire for patients, families and improving healthcare for older adults, recently posted a blog on the John A. Hartford Foundation website entitled, The Essential (Before I Kick the) Bucket List.  But this bucket list differs from what most think of when listing things you might want to see or do with your remaining lifetime: seeing faraway places, scaling mountains or experiencing new adventures.  Amy, herself opting for palliative care for terminal breast cancer, designed a list of how she would like to see care for herself, for families and for those she has advocated for so long, older adults.

The essential five on her list:

  1. Care centers on the patient
  2. Care addresses the needs of the family
  3. Care is better coordinated
  4. Care focuses on quality of life and patient goals
  5. End of life care is more compassionate and driven by preferences

While the public discourse about healthcare is cluttered with talk of dazzling technologies, business case analogies and ever-more efficient health care practice, the blog piece reminds us that health care is all about the person, family and their quality of life.  And when we think of care for our parents, spouses or even ourselves, this is what we experience as quality of care.  It is time that we all step up efforts to achieve the essential five.

- Kathy Kelly,
Executive Director, FCA

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