Report: Dying in America Harder Than It Has to Be

By Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer It is time for conversations about death to become a part of life. That is one of the themes of a 500-page report, titled “Dying in America,” released Sept. 17 by the Institute of Medicine. The report suggests that the first end-of-life conversation could coincide with a cherished American milestone: getting a driver’s license at 16, the first time a person weighs what it means to be an organ donor. Follow-up conversations …

It’s August, So It Must Be Make-a-Will Month

So August is National Make-a-Will Month. Who knew? Getting a will isn’t the most pleasant of tasks, and consequently, too few people do it. A recent survey of more than 2,000 people by the online legal service Rocket Lawyer found that 64 percent don’t have wills. The biggest reason cited by folks: They just never got around to it. Some said they didn’t want to think about death. You might believe that only wealthier families need a will. You’d be …

Robin Williams Made a Movie About a Parkinson’s Drug

As details of Robin Williams’ death continue to emerge, we learn more about the actor’s life. His wife, Susan Schneider, has revealed that he was struggling with a recent diagnosis of early Parkinson’s disease. “Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly,” she said in a public statement. Nearly 25 years ago, Williams …

Casey Kasem Has Not Been Buried

It’s been about a month since Casey Kasem’s death, yet his body has still not been buried, according to NBC News. Jean Kasem, Kasem’s second wife, has the rights to his body but has kept it in a Washington morgue, according to a spokesperson for Kerri Kasem, the radio icon’s eldest daughter. The DJ’s children have said that their stepmother kept them from seeing or communicating with their father in his final year of life. Jean Kasem did not attend …

An Old Dog Scratching at the Door

I feel like an old dog who has been wandering aimlessly through the streets of Los Angeles, and finally, worn and hungry, has decided to come home again, scratching at the door to get in. Well, I may be that weary old hound in some ways, but it has not been a joyful, or even relaxing, drift down the avenues and up the alleys. For almost three months I have been hospitalized with pneumonia, internal bleeding, a severe diabetic attack, …

ID Theft in the Afterlife

To protect against identity theft, you should never share too much about yourself on social media. But once you die, those accounts can pose new problems – beyond the heartbreaking reminders that come with “friend” requests made from the deceased, often through automated programs or a hacker’s ingenuity. Each year, the identities of some 2.5 million deceased Americans are used to fraudulently open credit card accounts, apply for loans, or get cellphone or other services. Each day roughly 2,200 dead people …