Aging in Place at the End of Life: How Palliative Care Can Help

corecubedHome Care Benefits, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Podcasts, Resources, Season Four

Dr. Timothy Ihrig


In today’s episode of Help Choose Home, we’re joined by Dr. Timothy Ihrig, the Chief Medical Officer of Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care. He’s also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ihrig MD and Associates. He is an internationally recognized expert in hospice and palliative care and a second time guest of the podcast.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How to know when curative medical treatments are actually causing harm to an elderly patient
  • How the financial imperatives of the medical industry lead to unnecessary invasive treatments
  • Why becoming comfortable with death is the secret to living a full life

Below are some highlights from our conversation:

  • [1:45] Dr. Ihrig discusses how to care for the elderly in more innovative ways.
  • [3:40] Hear stories from Dr. Ihrig’s past that led him to dedicate his energy to palliative care.
  • [6:47] Discover how accepting the inevitability of death can lead to creating better end-of-life strategies.
  • [9:02] Learn the four questions Dr. Ihrig always asks his patients in order to get to the heart of the issue.
  • [12:47] Explore strategies for choosing between continuing medical procedures and forgoing treatment in favor of dying at home.
  • [14:30] Learn how the business of medicine is motivated by financial incentives, regardless of the stage of life the patient is in.
  • [16:12] Dr. Ihrig discusses the American societal pressure to overcome natural bodily processes.
  • [18:35] Learn how palliative care, like the rest of the medical care system, can benefit from recognizing the inevitability of death.
  • [20:30] Dr. Ihrig outlines how to tell when curative therapies are causing harm to the patient.
  • [24:36] Dr. Ihrig invites listeners with personal questions to drop him an email.

After listening to today’s episode, I think that like me, you’ll come away with a greater understanding of how becoming comfortable with the inevitability of death can lead patients to make more informed decisions about how they want to live. You may even be inspired to reach out to Dr. Ihrig with questions, or discuss end-of-life directives with your loved ones.

You can listen to today’s episode here, or on Apple Podcasts, Google, YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.

To learn more about starting conversations about the end of life with your loved ones, listen to my conversation with Beth Cavenaugh, a certified hospice and palliative care nurse and author of Some Light at the End: An End-of-Life Guidebook for Patients and Their Caregivers. Learn how palliative care can help those living with chronic and long-term illness remain comfortable at home.

If this episode has been helpful, be sure to leave a five-star review and share the podcast with your friends to help us in the national effort to educate about home health care options! You can connect with me, Merrily Orsini, on Twitter@MerrilyO.


The Help Choose Home podcast series is a collaborative effort by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), Axxess, and corecubed to educate the public about the many benefits of the in-home care industry, which includes non‑medical home care, private duty nursing care, medical home health, hospice, and other in‑home health and wellness services.

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The Help Choose Home podcast series provides information and resources to help those with a care need learn more about healthcare at home. Podcasts are hosted by Merrily Orsini, Founder/Board Chair of corecubed, a marketing firm dedicated exclusively to helping aging care providers grow their business.