Something to Think About: a blog on end of life

Filtered By: advance directive

Something to Think About: a blog on end of life

Filtered By: advance directive

Developing End of Life Expertise

Developing End of Life Expertise

July 07 2019
You have to walk the walk before you can talk the talk. Learn from your patient/family interactions. At the same time read everything you can get your hands on...

Alzheimer's, Cancer and Hospice

Alzheimer's, Cancer and Hospice

June 13 2019
Dementia isn’t a terminal illness in that it doesn’t have a limited prognosis. It is like dying from old age, it takes longer. Alzheimer’s, or any form of dementia, is difficult to gage as to approaching death. The personality changes and withdraws often over a period of years and sleeping habits are...

I Hear You, But I Don't Understand

I Hear You, But I Don't Understand

March 24 2019
...I remember being with my mother in my hospice Medical Director’s office. He was explaining to my mother his medical findings as they related to her illness. I, being a hospice Director and in the medical field, didn’t understand what he was talking about. My mother sat on the end of the examining table nodding her head up and down indicting that she understood. She didn’t....

My Personal Integrity Was Wounded Tonight

My Personal Integrity Was Wounded Tonight

February 26 2019
When hospice began it was outside of the medical model. It provided end of life care based on quality, not quantity, of life. It recognized when physical healing couldn't be accomplished there was emotional, mental, and spiritual healing to address...

Refusing Treatment At Age 93

Refusing Treatment At Age 93

January 23 2019
Why make your mother’s remaining time be unhappy and with more discontent than is already there due to age and illness? Being old is hard work. Our thinking processes aren't as sharp, our memory is diminishing...

Six Months To Live? A Doctor's Prediction

Six Months To Live?  A Doctor's Prediction

January 08 2019
So many factors affect the length of our labor to leave this world that it is imprudent to put a specific time frame on approaching death. The closest we can credibly come to predicting when death is going to arrive is to guesstimate the time in months or weeks with no numbers attached...

FOUR QUESTIONS WE TEND TO ASK WHEN FACED WITH OUR MORTALITY

FOUR QUESTIONS WE TEND TO ASK WHEN FACED WITH OUR MORTALITY

October 02 2018
We cannot put a number on how long our last experience will be. No one, doctors included, can be so specific as to say 6 months, 3 weeks or 24 hours. The closest anyone can come to determining how long someone has to live is months, weeks, days, and hours. There are dynamics that enter into the length of our dying process...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Do Not Resuscitate & Hospice

Do Not Resuscitate & Hospice

October 03 2017
I was directed to a conversation on a Facebook group that I follow.   The question that started the conversation was,...

Taking Charge With An Advanced Directive

Taking Charge With An Advanced Directive

September 06 2017
Dear Barbara, when do we talk about end of life issues with others? We talk about end of life issues NOW while we ar...

Oxygen at End of Life - Who Does It Comfort?

Oxygen at End of Life - Who Does It Comfort?

August 23 2017
Dear Barbara, Could you address the use of oxygen as a comfort measure? I don’t mean as a result of measuring the SAT...

Whimpers and Tears in the Actively Dying

Whimpers and Tears in the Actively Dying

June 29 2017
Dear Barbara, my mom recently passed away while surrounded by her kids and husband. I cannot stop replaying her last ...
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