In a medical culture that encourages aggressive treatment at acute care hospitals to save all patients at all costs, including the elderly, the concept of ‘slow medicine’ poses ethical and behavioral challenges.

Grounded in research at Dartmouth Medical School, ‘slow medicine’ encourages physicians to put on the breaks when considering care that may have high risks and limited rewards for the elderly. It also educates patients and families how to make decisions about which treatments to have, or not.

As reported in a recent New York Times article, Kendal at Hanover, an IAHSA community in the USA, addresses the issue of end of life care up front with their residents so there is a good understanding of the options before an emergency arises.