Purpose, Forgiveness and Meaning at End of Life

Purpose, Forgiveness and Meaning at End of Life

August 14 2018
What is the aim of a life review? As a caregiver my aim is not to direct a life review but to be a presence, a listener, and a friend. If life review becomes a subject the patient wants to pursue (whatever words may be used...

Where Is The Hospice I Know and Love?

Where Is The Hospice I Know and Love?

July 25 2018
Hospice can not take the experience and sadness of a loved one dying away. Our goal is to help the family create a sacred experience, to help their loved one have as gentle a death as possible, and when we have done our job well the family will have that sacred memory...

3 Things You Can Do As Someone Is Dying

3 Things You Can Do As Someone Is Dying

July 10 2018
The hours before actual death is very scary, a "I don't know what to do" time, for anyone present. Someone who knows the normal natural way a person dies can be like a conductor as they guide those present through the experience. You being there with your knowledge of end of life can have a significant role in turning an often frightening time into a sacred one. So, yes, I think you should stay if people unexpectedly arrive. Explain that if it is alright you would like to stay and

WHY NOT HOSPICE? A Reluctance To Refer

WHY NOT HOSPICE?  A Reluctance To Refer

June 26 2018
If the signs are there, get the referral and let a hospice professional determine if Hospice is appropriate. Three things I look for to tell me if it is time for Hospice are: 1. the patient’s condition is deteriorating in spite of the treatment that is being given. 2. You look at the person and say to yourself...

Pain, Morphine & "Dying in Peace"

Pain, Morphine & "Dying in Peace"

June 14 2018
It is certainly not within our role to act if a person, in the pain of the moment, wants help in ending their life. In the “pain of the moment” are the operative words here. I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard that plea in the throngs of pain, and the relief when that pain is relieved and life continues...

A Hospice With Integrity

A Hospice With Integrity

May 30 2018
Be the best hospice you can possibly be, provide the highest quality of care with the most compassionate, caring staff your area has to offer. Build a reputation within the community not of how many patients you serve but what kind of compassionate, “we go the extra thousand percent for our patient”, care you provide. Build a reputation within the community...

Calories Count

Calories Count

May 14 2018
When living with a life threatening illness we are eating for two---our physical body and our disease. In most cases the disease eats before we do. If we don’t eat, the disease still does. Nutrition will not keep a person alive indefinitely. It does not stop the disease progression. If we have a terminal illness...

The Balancing Act of Caring for the Dying

The Balancing Act of Caring for the Dying

May 03 2018
For healthcare professionals it is often a balancing act to care for patients and then deal with the sense of futility that is triggered when they are doing their job...

DYING Young or Old, The Signs Are The Same

DYING Young or Old, The Signs Are The Same

April 10 2018
There are other signs of approaching death that indicate a person with a disease (at any age) has weeks to live...

The Profound Affect of Dementia on Families

The Profound Affect of Dementia on Families

March 26 2018
I can say that dementia doesn’t play by the rules for end of life. Withdrawing and sleeping can be present for years and does not signify approaching death. Not eating and not swallowing are your key signs. If we don’t eat, we can’t continue to live. Always offer food (be careful of choking), but don’t force food.

THIS IS HOW PEOPLE DIE - my latest film

THIS IS HOW PEOPLE DIE - my latest film

March 13 2018

My message throughout all this time has been to educate, educate, educate. Educate anyone who will listen about how people die. To help people understand how death comes, what it looks like, (a part of life we will all experience one day) is my focus, to neutralize the fear we all bring to approaching death. With my desire to teach as many people as possible I have created a new end of life educational film, This Is How People Die.

Nursing Home Blues, Part 2

Nursing Home Blues, Part 2

February 28 2018
...Fortunately, I suppose, my mother is now bed-bound and we were able to
get Hospice to help out, so she now fits the bill for a 'model patient'... but it
still seems one nurse can wreck her entire day with a bad attitude at
changing time or bath time. And family (which is me) must try to piece back together a mindset that keeps her contented and unafraid. this is a sad time of life. And I do have the Nursing Home Blues, quite regularly...

The Nursing Home Blues

The Nursing Home Blues

February 13 2018
As we get older, life presents us with different challenges. We adapt to them in the same way we have lived our life and dealt with all the challenges in our life up to this point---only our reactions become intensified. If we were withdrawn and not very social in our earlier living then as we get older we become more withdrawn, even less social. Think about...

Grief During the Last Stages of His Life

Grief During the Last Stages of His Life

January 30 2018
From the moment of a diagnosis of a life threatening illness we begin grieving. We grieve not just the eventual losses that come with serious illness but the approaching death itself...

How Do I Pick a Good Hospice?

How Do I Pick a Good Hospice?

January 16 2018
There have been many changes in hospice care since it began. Some for the better, some not so much. What I am suggesting as representing a “good” hospice is becoming harder to find. My hope is...

"WHY?" Questions Arising Following A Death

"WHY?"  Questions Arising Following A Death

January 02 2018
When we die we work to leave our body. That work begins months before death from disease actually occurs but we only really see the work happening when death is days to hours away. I call this time labor because we the watchers don’t understand what is happening. We think it looks painful, abnormal, that something bad is happening...

Telling A Loved One They're Dying

Telling A Loved One They're Dying

December 12 2017
...not telling a person they can’t be fixed is taking away their opportunity to do and say that which is important to them. It is taking away their ability to make decisions based on knowledge of how their life will proceed. It also confuses them in that internally they sense they are not going to get better yet everyone is acting as if they are...

BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF ~ Grief and Guilt

BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF ~ Grief and Guilt

November 28 2017
What do I mean by being "gentle" with yourself? I mean forgive yourself for
all the things you feel guilty about. Remember we always do the best we
can with the information we have at the time...
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