Reflections after an LTC and senior living summit
Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:
Last week, I attended the MarcusEvans LTC and Senior Living CXO Summit in Los Angeles, where I delivered a keynote address on “Identifying and Repairing Communication Gaps in LTC.” It was a fascinating, energizing event, and not just because I was leaving the frigid temperatures of New York City to dine outdoors in Marina Del Rey.
Of course, I was all jazzed up to speak about my obsession, long-term care. Of the many communication gaps I mentioned that need repairing, the one that most people commented on afterward was the way we handle end-of-life care.
Perhaps the ample feedback reflected how we, as a country, are spending so much money on aggressive medical treatments that are unlikely to help those who are dying and that most people wouldn’t want if they knew what they entailed. Or perhaps it’s because the vast majority of the audience was not only professionals in the field but also had a relative in long-term care. They recognized the value of having a peaceful death both for the resident and for their family.
It was interesting to me that only a few of these C-suite attendees had heard of Atul Gawande, MD, whose recent book on end-of-life care, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” became the basis for a “Frontline” documentary that aired last week. Atul Gawande is all the rage in my circle.
I, on the other hand, was gobbling up new information about positioning care facilities to thrive over the long haul. The clinical and the financial sides of the business have a lot to teach each other.
One of the highlights for me was hearing Dr. Margaret Wylde of the ProMatura Group speak about what’s important to residents of senior living communities. I was so excited by her information that I leaped from my seat and shouted, “Yes! Yes! Right on, sister!” At least, that’s what I was doing on the inside, while my outside sat politely nodding in my gray business suit.
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