Living Well with Chronic Illness

In today’s world of miraculous medical interventions that prolong the quantity and quality of life for many, the course of illness, decline and natural death has been irrevocably changed. That being said, it’s important to remember that humans are still mortal. We will all succumb at some point to accident, Illness, disease or aging as is the natural course of living and dying.

Given our modern medical model, it bears considering how we want to experience the later chapters of our lives. What’s most important to us as individuals and as family members and communities. These are the considerations of the emerging field of palliative medicine. To palliative means to reduce suffering without curing. Medicine can treat many diseases that are considered incurable. These treatments can help us maintain a better quality of life and sustain life to a degree.

Palliative medicine is spreading out of hospitals and into community-based palliative care program like the newly established Palliative Care Program at VNCC. This service offers home-based support for elders and those with chronic illnesses like CHF, COPD, kidney disease, Dementia, etc. a team of medical professionals can help to assess a patient’s condition, foster conversations about their goals for care, and help complete as advance directive documents.

Join Palliative Care Consultant and Social Worker, Mary Francis Drake, on Thursday, July 18 at the Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple Street, Arlington, 10-11 a.m., to learn more about these free assessment and support services.