Photo: Older gentlemen

Risk Gene for Alzheimer’s Appears to Affect Women Differently than Men

A well known risk gene for Alzheimer’s Disease may have a more potent effect on women, according to research published today in the Annals of Neurology. Everyone has 2 copies of a gene called APOE but some people carry a form of the gene, called APOE4, that has been associated with an increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease (NIH Alzheimers Disease Genetics fact sheet). Researchers from Stanford took advantage of a large publicly available database from the National Institute on Aging which …  Continue »

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Advance Directives More Popular over Last Decade

Advance Directives

A study published today finds that record numbers of people are completing advance directives to navigate end-of-life medical care. The research, published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, looked at data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally-representative sample of older Americans that is conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research on […]


Crunching the Numbers for Long-Term Care – Most Americans are Underprepared

Photo: long-term care

Photo courtesy of Rosie O’Beirne, Flickr Creative Commons. The results of a 2013 survey about long-term care for the elderly make two things clear. Americans drastically underestimate their own chances of needing future care, and they also misjudge how much that care will cost. As the U.S. population ages, these misperceptions are likely to be […]


Preventing Deathbed Shocks: Jerry Romano’s Story

Photo: Jerry Romano's Story panel

Conversations about advanced heart disease happen in bubbles. The cardiologist, the patient, and the adult children are all in different bubbles with access to different data and often make health care decisions in isolation without talking to each other. The goal of this panel discussion is to get a patient (Jerry Romano, Air Force Veteran […]


Knocking on Heaven’s Door: A Conversation with Katy Butler

Photo: Katy Butler

“My mother got more information when she bought a car than when she was making the decision about my father’s pacemaker” says Katy Butler, award-winning journalist and author of the new book “Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Katy’s father, Jeffrey Butler, had suffered a stroke and also developed a painful hernia. His insurance refused to pay […]




Immigrants Facing Death Without Home Hospice Support

Photo: Alice Bian in her funeral supply store

Photo: Alice Bian in her funeral supply store. (Alhambra Source/Daniela Gerson) LOS ANGELES–Alice Bian’s business is death. She boasts that her Valley Boulevard funeral supply store in Alhambra, Calif., carries the United States’ most extensive collection of Chinese afterlife-ritual items and clothes for the deceased: silk capes and pants with drawstrings that make it easy […]


NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman Shares Her Family’s End of Life Discussions

Photo: Holding hands

Primetime television is again turning its attention to end of life issues. In a recent episode of NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman talks about end of life conversations. But for Dr. Snyderman, this was not just another news story- this is personal. The segment featured a conversation with […]


Pain, Pain Go Away: Palliative Care for San Francisco Elders Goes Beyond Meds

Photo: Norbert Charles is a volunteer at the Curry Senior Center in San Francisco

Photo: Norbert Charles is a volunteer at the Curry Senior Center in San Francisco. Recently diagnosed with cancer, he now receives palliative care at Curry. (John Burks/Central City Extra) SAN FRANCISCO–Norbert Charles worked for seven years as a volunteer at Curry Senior Center, helping mostly low-income Tenderloin neighbors with failing health. He showed them movies, […]


Stay or Go? Terminally Ill Undocumented Immigrants Face Dilemma

Photo: Palliative care patient Gil García García with his niece Fatima

Photo: Palliative care patient Gil García García with his niece Fatima LOS ANGELES — When Gil García García began to feel a sharp pain in his left foot, he didn’t think it was important. “Two weeks later, I could not walk. I needed help to get up. I had a constant and bad headache,” García […]