Death Feed

To Live and Die with Serenity and Peace Try Forgiveness

MotherdaughterForgiveness nearly always changes lives for the better, even if one of those lives is about to end. Whether we are the forgiver or the person being forgiven, the blessings flow both ways. To me, forgiving one another for being flawed human beings is an important key to a reasonably serene life. However, this mutual understanding is not always easy to come by.

Read more on Agingcare about forgiveness as a way toward serenity and peace:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Dementia Boot Camp: Training to Be a Caregiver, Part 2

Brain7An aide pushed a wheelchair toward me, mentioning “the one in the black pants.” I was wearing black jeans.

“This one’s hospice?” she asked the woman who brought me in.

“Yeah,” she said. “I’ll put her in this chair,” the woman said. “No one who uses this chair lives long, anyway.”

Read Part 2 of Dementia Boot Camp on HealthCentral:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day by Ordering Amazon Best Seller "Wishes to Die For"

WishesToDieForBestSellerLast year, I reviewed the first edition of "Wishes to Die For" for my newspaper column. The review can be read below.   I was later asked to write the foreword for this second edition. It was an honor to do so because I still consider this the best book available for people who want to learn how to take control of living until they die.  - Carol

“Code Blue!: A voice cries out in the Emergency Department. “Is there a doctor who can ‘tube’ a patient in Cardiac Cath Lab?”

These beginning lines of “Wishes To Die For: Expanding Upon Doing Less in Advanced Care Directives” by Kevin J. Haselhorst, MD prepare the reader for an adventure in self-examination...

Read full article on Inforum about mapping about your healthcare decisions: 

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


National Healthcare Decisions Day Reminder to Stop Procrastinating

Journal1If you are one of the millions of adult children who worry about your aging parents, National Healthcare Decisions Day, which is April 16th,  could be a very important day for your family. National Healthcare Decisions Day is set aside to spread awareness about the need for everyone to appoint a healthcare representative.

According to Pew Research on end-of-life treatment, the growth in the number of people who say that they have a health directive went up 17 points between 1990 and 2005 - from 12% in 1990 to 29% now. Likely, today the number is much higher. However there are still far too many people without a healthcare directive.  

Read more on HealthCentral about how you can begin the process:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Hospice Care about Re-Focusing Priorities, Not Giving Up

HandsComfortOur culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care.   The crux of these conversations is that medicine will do everything possible and then when you give up you will go on hospice care. 

Read more on HealthCentral about hospice care as a positive move: 

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


How Caregivers Go About Rebuilding Their Lives After Caregiving Ends

Road...Many of us start our caregiving career by assisting an elder in his or her home, or we have a spouse who declines and we become the default caregiver in our own home. This care expands to a point where we need some type of respite, often in the form of in-home care agency help. Eventually, the move to assisted living or even a nursing home may become necessary for everyone's health and wellbeing. Whatever happens, we remain caregivers. Many of us continue to see our care receiver daily. Most of us continue to be involved as advocates and support throughout the time of need. When our loving attention and care is no longer needed, we can, indeed, feel lost.

Read more on Agingcare about rebuilding life after the death of your loved one:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Desire to Break from Paralyzing Sense of Responsibility Normal

ConfusionDear Carol: My mother is in a nursing home and has been on and off of hospice care twice, since improvement in her health has disqualified her for the program each time.  This should be good news, but with or without hospice she is still very ill with lung disease. She also suffers from the effects of past chemotherapy and her mind is increasingly foggy. She says she wants to join Dad, who died years ago. This back and forth business is tearing me apart and, to be honest, it’s wearing me out to a point that I can hardly function. I need a vacation, but I’d never forgive myself if she died and I wasn’t there. I sometimes wish she could just die now, as she wishes, and get it over with. How do I get over the guilt of having these terrible thoughts?  EMB

Read more on Inforum about wanting a break and wish for loved one's death:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


When One Parent Dies Will the Other Need a Caregiver?

SpousesLong-term marriages generally evolve into a support system so efficient that even adult children hardly notice changes in their parents. If Dad's hearing is poor, Mom becomes his ears. If Mom's arthritis is bad, Dad becomes her muscle. If one of them has memory loss, the other fills in the gaps so smoothly that it's barely noticeable to onlookers. Then, either Mom or Dad dies. The person remaining suddenly is more frail and needy than anyone would have expected. The surviving spouse is suffering the loss of their life partner, a shock from which they may never completely recover. Also, the person who filled in the gaps is gone, and those gaps can suddenly look like chasms.

Read more on Agingcare about what can happen to the surviving spouse of a long-term marriage:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling 


How Is Palliative Care Different from Hospice?

SleepHospice care is palliative care, but palliative care is not hospice. The difference between these two types of care is something that I have found difficult to clarify myself let alone explain to others. However, this care is a fundamental part of treating any chronic or terminal illness.

With that in mind, I contacted Kimberly Angelia Curseen, M.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Emory School of Medicine and Director of Outpatient Supportive/Palliative Care Clinic Emory Healthcare. Dr. Curseen has a passion for palliative care and was happy to clarify this important type of medical care that seems to pass under the radar.

Read more on Agingcare about how these two types of comfort care differ:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Option of Hospice Care Helps Many Let Go

BridgeToCloudPeople who read my work on a regular basis know that I am grateful to hospice for the care of both of my parents. Without the skilled, compassionate care of the hospice staff, both of my parents would have suffered far more than they did. As it was, they’d both had long, slow declines. Pain had become the focus of their lives even though they received excellent care in the nursing home. First Dad, and eventually Mom, qualified for hospice care because they were considered terminally ill with less than six months to live. I filled out the paperwork for each of them and, yes, doing so was painful for me. But not having hospice there to take care of their end-of-life needs was unthinkable. 

Read more on HealthCentral about the option of hospice care and how it affects people:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling