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The Commons: The Best Place to Die?

Remodeling the nicest home in town for hospice

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Holmes Park House
THE VAST MAJORITY (80 percent) of Americans say that we want to die at home—and yet the majority (64 percent in Oregon) don’t. That’s a lot of desire unmet. And among the minority who succeed in dying at home, their success may not turn out to be a cherished or comforting memory for anyone. Why? So many live alone; so many can’t afford the kind of home care that even comes close to being ideal; so many houses are not prepared for dying; and so many relatives and friends really aren’t prepared either. While nobody wants to die amid a bustling hospital or forgotten in a nursing home—and “home” is better than that—is home really the best place to let go?  …

Stephen Kiesling is a former Olympic rower, cocreator of the Nike Cross Training System, and editor at large of Spirituality & Health. A 35th anniversary edition of The Shell Game: Reflections on Rowing and the Pursuit of Excellence has just been published.


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