Something to Think About: a blog on end of life

Filtered By: End of Life Guideline Series

Something to Think About: a blog on end of life

Filtered By: End of Life Guideline Series

An Unpleasant Situation

An Unpleasant Situation

April 30 2019
I am sharing this letter and my response because this family is not the only family that has carried memories, sometimes for years, of situations that occurred as their loved one was being cared for. As health care professionals it is a huge part of our job to educate, to explain what we are doing and why we are doing it...

8 Things to Consider Regarding End of Life Pain Management

8 Things to Consider Regarding End of Life Pain Management

April 18 2019
Often dying looks painful to the people watching. Dying is a struggle to get out of the body. There are sounds that ordinarily would indicate discomfort but, when a person is actively dying, are part of the struggle. Just as the little chick works to get out of its shell, a person works to get out of their body. It takes effort to release from our body. That includes rattling and gasping sounds, twitching, random hand and leg movements, picking the air, facial grimaces...

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....

SOCIAL WORKERS: I want to be like you when I grow up

SOCIAL WORKERS:  I want to be like you when I grow up

March 11 2019

This is the story that came to mind when I decided to write a blog for National Social Work month. Social work, to me, is about saying the right words at the right moment, words that have a profound effect on a person’s life from that point forward. Being the listener with just a touch of direction...

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...

BIRTH BACKWARDS, A Daughter's Death

BIRTH BACKWARDS, A Daughter's Death

November 14 2018
At 8:17pm she took one more breath and then at 8:18 there was one more which I describe as hot caramel pouring onto vanilla ice cream. It was the most perfect breath, the most peaceful entering into another portal. I felt like I had had a complete birth experience...

7 Things to Consider Regarding End of Life Pain Management

7 Things to Consider Regarding End of Life Pain Management

October 30 2018
Dying is not painful. Disease causes pain. If pain has not been an issue during the disease process then just because a person is actively dying does not mean they are in pain. If pain has been an issue during the disease process that pain is present to the last breath...

Family Discord As Death Approaches

Family Discord As Death Approaches

October 16 2018
What I have discovered is that a family member dying can bring a family together. It can be their finest moment of closeness and comfort. But for other families it brings out the worst in relationship...

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...

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...
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