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...

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...

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”...

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...

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...

 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...