In reference to the Mountain Xpress March 7 letter to the editor from Arida Emrys, “Experience Yields Insights into Elder Care System,” and the [March 7] article in the Wellness section, “Vegan Stronghold: How Healthy Is a Plant-based Diet?” — Arida addresses the quality, or lack of, in today’s health care for elders.
I agree with that, and, in my experience, what this must include is, first and foremost, establishing a sensitive, listening relationship and then considering together what their body needs to regain health and well-being. Food as medicine is a primary consideration. Environment that is supportive of healing, beauty, cleanliness, nature and the social-emotional milieu. This is the type of caring that makes a difference in achieving a quality life/death or not.
The article in the Wellness section addresses food and diet, a major factor in living a quality life and carrying that into the dying process. What I have realized in living-in with people in the dying process, one-on-one, 24/7, is that no one knows what is best for another, that it is up to us as individuals to discover on our own. It is my belief that health care practitioners themselves need to be in the process of discovering or knowing what food, what diet, what lifestyle supports their individual mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Then we are in a position to support others to find their unique way to health.
— David Krest