"One Lone Tear", Dementia at End of Life

"One Lone Tear", Dementia at End of Life

August 07 2019
The guilt, frustration, uncertainty, and helplessness of family caregivers is as much a problem to our healthcare system as the patient with dementia...

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....

IT HAPPENED FOR A REASON? Death of a Child

IT HAPPENED FOR A REASON?  Death of a Child

December 11 2018
I suggest writing a letter to the person that died and saying from your heart what you need to say that you didn't say before. I recommend that you write your baby girl a letter. Pour your heart out to her and offer to her your wanting to let go of all the negative feelings you have been carrying all these years. Tell her, from the bottom of your heart...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Some Think Hospice Kills

Some Think Hospice Kills

October 30 2017
It is because end of life care is different than caring for someone who is going to get better that we think the care being provided is causing harm. It is because our medical profession is perceived as fixing people, no matter how sick the person is. Hospice care has then failed, has let the person die when death comes.

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...

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 ...