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.

The Silent Scream, Grimaces, and Scary Faces As We Die... Why?

The Silent Scream, Grimaces, and Scary Faces As We Die... Why?

July 22 2020
There is a labor to dying. It is hard work for us to get out of our body (some harder than others). Think of the little chick that works, struggles to get out of its shell. As we, humans, are dying we are working, struggling also to get out  of our bodies. We, the watchers, see the hard work and don't know how to interpret it...

How Do You Grieve a Violent Death?

How Do You Grieve a Violent Death?

June 23 2020
Sudden death by accident, suicide and certainly by violence intensifies those normal grief responses. Everything we feel with normal grief is as if we are being held under a magnifying glass, everything is more intense, hurts more. Part of grieving is questioning how this can happen. Why me? Why her? Why him?...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

"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...

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...

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...
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