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...

 

WORKING TOGETHER, Hospice & Nursing Facilities

WORKING TOGETHER, Hospice & Nursing Facilities

May 14 2019
Hospice has worked with nursing facilities for many years now. Our relationship  and interactions with patients and their families is now better understood and better defined. That said, some nursing facilities still feel threatened by the presence of hospice. Naturally when something goes wrong it is viewed...

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....

SOCIAL WORKERS: I want to be like you when I grow up

SOCIAL WORKERS:  I want to be like you when I grow up

March 11 2019

This is the story that came to mind when I decided to write a blog for National Social Work month. Social work, to me, is about saying the right words at the right moment, words that have a profound effect on a person’s life from that point forward. Being the listener with just a touch of direction...

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...

Six Months To Live? A Doctor's Prediction

Six Months To Live?  A Doctor's Prediction

January 08 2019
So many factors affect the length of our labor to leave this world that it is imprudent to put a specific time frame on approaching death. The closest we can credibly come to predicting when death is going to arrive is to guesstimate the time in months or weeks with no numbers attached...

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...

7 Things to Consider Regarding End of Life Pain Management

7 Things to Consider Regarding End of Life Pain Management

October 30 2018
Dying is not painful. Disease causes pain. If pain has not been an issue during the disease process then just because a person is actively dying does not mean they are in pain. If pain has been an issue during the disease process that pain is present to the last breath...

Family Discord As Death Approaches

Family Discord As Death Approaches

October 16 2018
What I have discovered is that a family member dying can bring a family together. It can be their finest moment of closeness and comfort. But for other families it brings out the worst in relationship...

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...

Purpose, Forgiveness and Meaning at End of Life

Purpose, Forgiveness and Meaning at End of Life

August 14 2018
What is the aim of a life review? As a caregiver my aim is not to direct a life review but to be a presence, a listener, and a friend. If life review becomes a subject the patient wants to pursue (whatever words may be used...

Where Is The Hospice I Know and Love?

Where Is The Hospice I Know and Love?

July 25 2018
Hospice can not take the experience and sadness of a loved one dying away. Our goal is to help the family create a sacred experience, to help their loved one have as gentle a death as possible, and when we have done our job well the family will have that sacred memory...

3 Things You Can Do As Someone Is Dying

3 Things You Can Do As Someone Is Dying

July 10 2018
The hours before actual death is very scary, a "I don't know what to do" time, for anyone present. Someone who knows the normal natural way a person dies can be like a conductor as they guide those present through the experience. You being there with your knowledge of end of life can have a significant role in turning an often frightening time into a sacred one. So, yes, I think you should stay if people unexpectedly arrive. Explain that if it is alright you would like to stay and
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