While advances in medical science and disease treatments are always welcome, real transformation of healthcare requires us to focus on whole persons, not just maladies. Our responsibilities to ill people, and frail elders, including those with dementia, are not merely obligations, but also response-abilities. Beyond relieving suffering and meeting their basic biological needs, we can nurture each individual as a whole person and promote his or her wellbeing. The benefits are tangible and mutual. Helping professionals are rewarded through the deep and meaningful connections they form with the remarkable people they serve. In Return of Compassion to Healthcare the Tellis-Nayaks offer blueprints for person-centered care that can guide leaders of healthcare, aging services, government and business in building enlightened clinical programs and assisted-living communities for medically ill and otherwise vulnerable people. As Vivian and Mary Tellis-Nayak so clearly show, solutions are available. Evidence-based treatments are valuable, however, the best care is also tender and loving.
Ira Byock, MD is founder and chief medical officer for the Institute for Human Caring, Providence Health & Service. His books include Dying Well and The Best Care Possible.
Publisher:Page Publishing, Inc. (November 21, 2016)