Something to Think About: a blog on end of life

Filtered By: How Do I Know You? Dementia at the End of Life

Something to Think About: a blog on end of life

Filtered By: How Do I Know You? Dementia at the End of Life

Does Our Personality Change As We Approach Death?

Does Our Personality Change As We Approach Death?

August 07 2020
First, what is meant by “dying person”? In the months before death most people really don’t believe they are dying. “Other people die, not me. There will be a cure, a mistake, or a miracle”.  They also begin withdrawing, showing less interest in the outside world and become more introspective. That introspection is not always peaceful or even positive. Thoughts and behavior will relate to how much fear is present. We are all going to be afraid as we approach death.

How Do You Talk About Approaching Death?

How Do You Talk About Approaching Death?

June 11 2020
Our job as an end of life specialist is to address the elephant in the room, to be direct and honest in the gentlest way possible. We are not doing our job, and doing a great disservice to the family, if we don’t talk about Mom’s approaching death, educate, and at least try to prepare the family...

How To Say Goodbye When I'm Not There

How To Say Goodbye When I'm Not There

June 03 2020
People are dying and in a manner we are not used to. We, in America, have become accustomed to having our loved one either at home with family close, or in a nursing facility with some family, or in a hospital, hopefully with family present.

In the next weeks and months some of our loved ones may be dying basically alone...

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...

What Does Death Look Like?

What Does Death Look Like?

May 19 2020
We bring our fears, our childhood experiences with death, our culture, our belief systems, and our stereotypes to the bedside of the dying and the dead. Generally, none of that is actually how people die...

How To Help Families Care For Their Dying Loved One During Social D...

How To Help Families Care For Their Dying Loved One During Social Distancing

May 08 2020
Hospices seem to be struggling with how to provide services now that being in homes and facilities is not an option. When we cannot rely on routines, when there is no normal anymore, we have to begin thinking of new ways to provide service. We have to start thinking outside the box. We have to create new ways of providing care, new ways of getting education to our families...

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...

Taking Some of the Fear Out of Dying Alone

Taking Some of the Fear Out of Dying Alone

April 03 2020
I see families devastated by not being able to be with their loved one as they are dying. I am writing this for any person who is faced with a loved one dying alone in the hospital. My hope is that some understanding hence comfort can be found among these words. This guidance can also be used by healthcare workers when they face the difficult job of telling families they can’t be present. These ideas can’t fix this horrific situation but they can bring a bit of understanding and “something to do” to an otherwise bleak message.

Be Aware of the Risk We Present to Those We Are Hired to Care For

Be Aware of the Risk We Present to Those We Are Hired to Care For

March 19 2020
Touch in with the families, “What’s happening? Do you need anything?” Use the same volunteer for each family to develop confidence and bonding. You are saving your staff while providing a sense of security  to your families...

We've Just Begun Social Distancing~ Here Are My Thoughts

We've Just Begun Social Distancing~ Here Are My Thoughts

March 15 2020
Isolation from others is teaching me this about my self ——- I do a lot for others, for their thoughts of me, why else do I wear makeup? Get dressed? Bathe...

Why Didn't They Tell Me?

Why Didn't They Tell Me?

January 07 2020
Your book explained so much. Mom's dying was almost exactly like you explained in your book. In hindsight, I am unsure why we, her family, were not advised, taught, or even given a clue about what was inevitable. We truly kept on fighting and advocating for her to get what we thought to be the best medical care she could get all the while thinking it would make some kind of difference in this outcome...

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...

Do I Want Home Health Services or Hospice?

Do I Want Home Health Services or Hospice?

September 03 2019
I know it is scary to think of using hospice. It says death will happen soon, but there is such guidance and support to help that at least ask for an information visit. A hospice referral is a win-win. You win if hospice says it is too soon 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...

Caring for the Alzheimer's Patient

Caring for the Alzheimer's Patient

October 12 2015
Living with someone who has dementia is a daily challenge. It requires the constant reminder that this person is not who they once were. It presents the challenge of learning how to live with the person they have become...