Bereavement Support is Important at Any Time, Now, it's Vital

Bereavement Support is Important at Any Time, Now, it's Vital

May 19 2020
Hospice Bereavement support, as well as any bereavement support program (church, Community Support, Senior Activity Program) is important during the best of times. Now it is vital.  Here are my recommendations; what I would do if I had a bereavement program today during this pandemic...

Can We Ever Thank You Enough, Front Line Workers?

Can We Ever Thank You Enough, Front Line Workers?

May 05 2020
Our frontline workers: nurses, nursing assistants, doctors, hospital employees, first responders, housekeeping, grocery, delivery, and transportation personnel, all people who are out front while most of us shelter in place, my admiration for you has no bounds...

Front Line Workers, Do You Have Self Care Rituals?

Front Line Workers, Do You Have Self Care Rituals?

April 22 2020
During this time of crisis work it is hard to remember to take care of yourself. There doesn’t seem time for that but if you don’t at least try to put “your own oxygen mask on” you will not get the essentials you need to continue. You are carrying fear for yourself (whether realized or not), excess adrenaline just to meet the shift needs (which brings a sense of exhaustion when the shift is over), and non stop 8, 10, 12 work hours, so sleep for you is vital. Don’t neglect the basics, food, sleep, and a release of each day...

In This Time of Great Fear, DYING 101

In This Time of Great Fear, DYING 101

April 08 2020
People don’t die like they do in the movies—alive one minute, saying something profound and dead the next. There is a way that the body dies. A way it is programed to die. It’s just that most of us don’t think about it, don’t know and generally don’t want to think or know about it. This is part of the death denying society that we live in...

Is Talking About Dying Insensitive?

Is Talking About Dying Insensitive?

November 14 2019
We really aren’t doing people any favors by not being honest with them. We aren't giving their families the opportunity to do and say what needs to be said and done. We are depriving people the opportunity to put their life in order, to say “goodbye and I love you”...

What Comes Next? Dementia at End of Life

What Comes Next?  Dementia at End of Life

October 28 2019
Dementia is like a road map with many, many roads that eventually lead into a city. Each road is different, each road is of varying lengths and offers various views but all enter into the city at the same place. That place for my dementia analogy is when a person stops eating...

Mom Needs Hospice? Here are your questions to choose the right one...

Mom Needs Hospice?  Here are your questions to choose the right one...

September 18 2019
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 that by setting the standard high, and...

"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...

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...

Setting Up a Hospice Program

Setting Up a Hospice Program

May 28 2019

...You really don't need a doctor or nurse at the bedside when someone is dying. You need someone who understands the natural way people die and can educate and guide those present through the experience. So, first, you are going to select employees that don't view death as a medical emergency, as a medical failure, and particularly don't view death as bad. Sad for everyone, yes, but not bad...

 

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...

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...

Explaining Pet Death To Children

Explaining Pet Death To Children

September 18 2018
Since my new booklet A Place In My Heart, When a Pet Dies has come out I have had several questions about children an...

A PLACE IN MY HEART, When a Pet Dies

A PLACE IN MY HEART, When a Pet Dies

August 28 2018
We can be as much at a loss when our pet is dying as we are when a person is dying but there doesn’t seem to be the support and guidance available for when a beloved pet is dying hence this new booklet...

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...
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