Alleviating Loneliness Can Aid Recovery: Calif. Hospital Pairs Older Patients With Companions
In other news on care for the aging population, Californians debate if people with Alzheimer's should be excluded from the state's new aid-in-dying law.
Hospital Companions Help Combat Loneliness For Older Patients
Loneliness can be a problem for older people, especially when they're in the hospital. Their children may have moved away. Spouses and friends may themselves be too frail to visit. So a California hospital is providing volunteer companions in the geriatric unit. One of the volunteers at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica is 24-year-old Julia Torrano. She hopes to go to medical school. Meanwhile, her twice-weekly volunteer shifts give her a lot of practice working with patients. (Jaffe, 11/21)
The Mercury News:
Should Alzheimer's Victims Be Excluded From California's Right-To-Die Law?
Since California’s controversial new law went into effect in the late spring, it has allowed approximately 150 state residents suffering from terminal illnesses to get physicians to prescribe a lethal prescription drug. But for many Californians who fear wasting away slowly over years, the law falls short. The reason: The law requires someone to make a competent decision to die, which patients with dementia clearly can’t do. (Wessel and Seipel, 11/18)