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.

Did the AIDS Epidemic Set Us Up To Handle COVID-19?

Did the AIDS Epidemic Set Us Up To Handle COVID-19?

March 23 2020

There are many of the same circumstances with today’s coronavirus as we faced with  HIV/AIDS in the early years— lack of medical knowledge, lack of guidance, and fear. I think the same directives hold now as they did then...

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...

MOM IS DYING and There's So Much Blame

MOM IS DYING and There's So Much Blame

March 03 2020
I'm sorry to say when a family member is dying it can bring us together and be our finest hour as a family or it can bring out the worse in us and create resentments that last a very long time. From what you are describing this may not be your family's finest hour...

How Does "Fear of Life" Affect Dying?

How Does "Fear of Life" Affect Dying?

February 17 2020
Yes, love of life and fear of death are a part of our personality expression as is our fear of life. In Gone From My Sight I was making a point of how fear plays a part in the length of our labor hence the reference to fear of life...

HOSPICE DEATH CALL~ How To Comfort A Family You've Never Met

HOSPICE DEATH CALL~ How To Comfort A Family You've Never Met

January 22 2020
We do this all the time. We enter tense situations where people are frightened and unsure, with people who have never seen us before. This is what we do: We create a bond of trust with strangers at a first visit. Being on call to a death visit is no different.

Would She Still Be Alive?

Would She Still Be Alive?

December 11 2019
It sounds like she was given morphine to ease her transition from this world to the next. Not knowing your grandmother's medical history I cannot say if the morphine was appropriate or not. What I can say is it did not kill her. She was dying...

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...

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 ...

Will I Know I'm Dying?

Will I Know I'm Dying?

August 18 2019
In our personal situations we may never have an answer to the question did he know or had the process started months earlier. What I suspect is that at some time before we die we know that the moment has come...

"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...

Why I Wrote My New Booklet: PAIN AT END OF LIFE

Why I Wrote My New Booklet:  PAIN AT END OF LIFE

July 24 2019
In todays culture with the opioid crisis rampant, fear of narcotic use is everywhere. That fear hinders our ability to provide appropriate comfort management and is leading to misconceptions about how hospice takes care of their patients. I hear way too often that “Hospice killed my mother by overdosing her with morphine”... 

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...

Our Children Aren't Supposed to Die Before Us

Our Children Aren't Supposed to Die Before Us

June 25 2019
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...

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...

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...
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