SLOW MEDICINE AT THE FIELDS

 

 

Slow medicine pioneer Dennis McCullough MD died recently. His groundbreaking book, “My mother, Your Mother” (2008) advanced the conversation about aggressive care for chronic medical conditions giving way to a more thoughtful, deliberate and “slow” approach.

 

It was well-received, coming along as the general hospice movement was gaining traction and people were asking provocative questions of doctors and hospitals like, “What’s this treatment going to do for my mother’s quality of life?”

 

As those questions became harder to answer when a “cure” became elusive for many chronic conditions, the palliative movement and “slow medicine” were developing a following.

 

Bellamy and Watson Fields were involved in palliative care as soon as it was available through Wentworth Douglass Hospital. It was a natural extension of our hospice services and both continue to grow. About half of our guests and their families elect palliative or hospice care at any particular time.

 

Because the majority of our guests have dementia or Parkinson’s Disease, or another brain/mind challenge, the burden of a chronic medical condition or three makes the palliative/hospice choice more straightforward.

 

The Fields nursing and clinical departments continue to expand and deepen the slow medicine philosophy and practice. Our expertise with resident care is literally head to toe…the dermatologist comes in to remove the face and scalp lesions that come from 80 years in the sun and the podiatrist leads our “happy feet” initiative.

 

 

“You can’t dance if your feet hurt” would have been a fitting title for Dr. McCullough’s next book.

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