Discussing future treatments doesn't affect survival rates

Survival rates do not change when discussing end-of-life careA new study published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine discovered that the survival rates of aging adults does not change if they discuss what types of care they would like for the remainder of their lives with their physicians. These findings go against previous beliefs, researchers say.

The researchers studied 356 patients from various hospitals between 2003 and 2009, and found that there were no differences between the individuals who discussed end-of-life care and those who didn't.

"Our findings are reassuring. They support health care providers, who can initiate these discussions, and policy makers, who seek to reimburse these time consuming discussions," said lead researcher Dr. Stacy M. Fischer of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "Most importantly, our findings are reassuring for patients and families who desire these discussions with their health care providers."

It is never easy for older adults to plan for their golden years, but it is important that they sit down with their family members and their doctors to discuss exactly how they want to experience retirement living. It is also imperative that they do so as soon as possible, because it is never too early to discuss the next step.