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Palliative Care and the Village Movement

What’s Honor Radar this week? The crucial difference between palliative care and hospice care, a new challenge facing the Villages across the US, a bolder business model that’s challenging the gig economy thinking, and the secret to living to 106.


David Plunkert

More Care, Not Less

In Palliative Care, Comfort Is the Top Priority  – The New York Times

Today, there’s a common misperception that palliative care is synonymous with hospice care. In other words, it’s time to give up on treatment and give up hope. That assumption, however, could not be further from the truth.

“Perhaps it’s not surprising that many families know little about palliative care; it only became an approved medical specialty in 2007. It has grown rapidly in hospitals: More than 70 percent now offer palliative care services, including 90 percent of those with more than 300 beds.”

But what about the majority of ailing patients, those not being treated in hospitals? Few understand that palliative care is an option—or even understand what that option means.

“Because most people with serious illnesses are older, seniors and caregivers should understand that palliative care offers more care as needed, not less. Unlike hospice, patients can use it at any point in an illness — many will “graduate” as they recover — without forgoing curative treatment.

“Like hospice, however, palliative care focuses on quality of life, providing emotional and spiritual support for patients and families, along with drugs and other remedies to ease symptoms. Its practitioners help patients explore the complex medical decisions they often face, then document their preferences.”

To learn more about how palliative care can benefit patients and their families, head here.


Handle With Care

How Will The Villages Age With Their Members?  – Next Avenue

Avenidas Village in Palo Alto, Calif., has 415 members whose average age is 80 —three years older than when the Village was founded in 2007. Not only do many of the original members now need more help, but the Village is attracting new members of a similar age, instead of people in their 60s and 70s.”

This demographic shift is affecting all of the nearly 200 Villages across the country, creating a new challenge for these membership-based communities of volunteer helpers: How to add more younger members—and how to help manage more serious age-related conditions.

“‘We as a Village are facing that challenge right now,’ says Esther Gillies, a member of Pasadena Village in California. ‘Most of us are healthy and mobile, but we know very well as we move into advanced age, we have more problems with memory loss, with fragility, with hospitalizations, with the need for more support on a regular basis.’”

Individual Villages are exploring a variety of solutions. The most likely appear to be a range of partnerships with outside care providers, medical house-call practices, and even hospitals.

“The challenge is, Villages are Villages, they’re not nursing homes,” says Capitol Hill Village Director Molly Singer. “We’re here to support and extend the ability of people to live independently — and we can’t do it forever.”

Honor is here to help when you need us.


Paying to Win

Managed by Q’s ‘Good Jobs’ Gamble  – The York Times Magazine 

Want to understand why it can pay off in the long run to pay your workers higher wages and offer them career options too? Read on.

Part of “The Work Issue: Reexamining the Office,” this piece explores the operations of New York–based Managed by Q, a rapidly growing company that started out cleaning offices and may end up cleaning up as the quick, quiet office fixer.

If you’re a fan of the economic concept “Baumol’s cost disease’’ (or want to understand it and its effects), this article is pitch perfect. If you’ve been following Honor, this may help you understand why we too have moved beyond the gig-economy model.

By the way, kudos to Managed by Q’s CEO Dan Teran for getting that caring for employees is the right thing to do for people and the smart thing to do for business.

Radar Love

#BlackHistoryMonth  – The White House

When 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin visited the White House for the first time, she immediately won the hearts of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama—and danced with joy. This video has been winning the hearts of millions all week—nearly 92 million viewers. If you haven’t seen it, get ready to smile. If you have seen it, it’s even better the second time.

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