"A convent is a world apart, unduplicable. But the Sisters of St. Joseph, a congregation in this Rochester suburb, animate many factors that studies say contribute to successful aging and a gentle death — none of which require this special setting. These include a large social network, intellectual stimulation, continued engagement in life and spiritual beliefs, as well as health care guided by the less-is-more principles of palliative and hospice care — trends that are moving from the fringes to the mainstream."
Also, in a related New York Times blog "The New Old Age: Caring and Coping" there is a fine post about the costs--both financial and physical-- of denial at the end-of-life.
Image Source: New York Times