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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Paul Farbstein

My father, Paul Farbstein, succumbed last week at age 79 to Parkinson’s disease after a gallant, uncomplaining 15-year battle. He was content, and accomplished; he was loved, and loved his family. He found jobs for many people during the 30 years he ran an employment placement business. He served as the President of a Rotary Club chapter, working hard in Rotary International’s long fight to eradicate polio worldwide.

He was quite healthy for most of his life, but encountered some medical misadventures in his last few years. One of his stories (about “Raul”) appeared on this blog.

Hospice staff cared for him for the last two weeks of his life. Their care was greatly compassionate and respectful to him and his family members. His family and oldest friends were able to say good-bye and to get help in coming to terms with his loss. He received only the treatment that was necessary and appropriate, which is remarkably rare in our medical system.

Donations in his memory can be made to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, for research.

Advice for those near the end of life: Hospice care can make a hard path far easier. In the Atlanta area, Hospice Atlanta (404-869-3000) has my highest recommendation.

Read Art Buchwald’s hospice story.

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