Hospice Feed

Having the End-Of-Life Talk with Our Elders

ElderTalkFew of us like to consider the fact that our parents will die. However they will. Nothing will change that fact. Good medical care, solid healthful habits, a pleasant social life – all of these may extend our years, but in the end, we will die. With this in mind, it is to everyone's advantage to discuss the details at as early a stage as possible. As I told my kids when I had my own legal papers drawn up, "Let's do all of this and then get on with the business of living." We did just that, and while my sons didn't find the prospect of my death fun to talk about, they dutifully listened to what I had drawn up and where I keep my papers. Whether it is the adult children or the parents who don't want to have the talk, this is something that needs to be done.

Read more on Agingcare about having the end-of-life talk:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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


Telling Your Loved One That It's Time for Hospice

Comfort3Our culture has historically been devoted to cure illness at all costs, and death is often looked at as "failure," no matter the age or condition of the person being treated. Many other cultures readily accept death as part of the life cycle. I believe we, as a culture, are making progress in this direction, but death still tends to be a word people avoid. If it's up to you to inform a loved one that he or she would be more comfortable under hospice care – or that a person they love will be on hospice care – there are steps you can take to get you through this difficult transition.

Read more on Agingcare about breaking the news that it's time for hospice:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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


Critical End-of-Life Issues a Holiday Topic for Many

GenerationsEnd-of-life discussions may not seem to fit with the commonly cheerful image of the holiday season. After all, who likes to talk about potential death? Yet, too many people die in a manner they would not choose. When we consider that the true reason for this spiritual season is to celebrate our faith, what could be more fitting than incorporating the message that we want the best for our loved ones for their entire life - and that their life will include the death process? 

Read more on HealthCentral about talking about end-of-life issues during the holidays:

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


Holidays Can Re-open Wounds from Past Loss

WinterHIllsDear Carol: As the holidays approach I’m facing the second anniversary of my husband’s death from cancer. Until he entered hospice care, he’d endured months of misery and pain. With hospice, he was able to find comfort and we had some wonderful talks together before he became too ill to communicate. His death was pain free and dignified. We’ve both had long lives, so why is this time of year so hard for me? I have a loving son and daughter-in-law as well as two grandchildren. I feel guilty about being angry and frustrated when I should be feeling grateful for memories of a happy marriage and a good life now. How do I get past this? -  Mattie

Read more on Inforum about getting through the holidays:

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


Veterans Benefits Guide from Agingcare Now Available

VeteransAgingcare.com and I have a long history together. I've been writing for them since they began around a decade ago and have enjoyed watching them climb to the top as one of the most trusted sites for our elders and those who care for them. I've also been the face of their support forum for nearly as many years as the site has been active. This is my personal stamp on their credibility. Agingcare has now put together a valuable booklet to help our veterans and their families navigate what can be a frustrating journey to determine what benefits they are eligible for. Take a look.

Free Veterans Benefits Guide from Agingcare

Support a caregiving friend at Christmas with a gift of Minding Our Elders


Hospice Care about Re-Focusing Priorities, Not Giving Up

Coast

Our culture is steeped in language 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 as well go on hospice care.” Patients say that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care. The focus of these conversations is that medicine will do everything possible and then when you give up you will go on hospice care. Hospice is not about giving up. It’s about allowing people who are dying a chance to live their final weeks or months with dignity and quality of life.

Read more on HealthCentral about re-focusing on care under hospice: 

Support a caregiving friend at Christmas with a gift of Minding Our Elders


November Appropriate Month for Celebrating Hospice and Palliative Care

Comfort“I hope we don’t have another funeral this Christmas,” my young son said after we wrapped up Halloween. Hearing my child voice that fear nearly broke my heart, but our family had endured the deaths of two elders in a row during the Christmas season so why wouldn't he wonder if this year would be the same? Thankfully, that particular year, we didn’t have a funeral during the season, though we did the following year. So, when it comes to death during the holidays, I have had some experience. 

Read more on HealthCentral about National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

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


Witnessing Dying Process Can Bring Unique Insight, Relief

Evening1

Dear Carol: My mother is 84 and has been ill for years with various ailments, including cancer. She recently fell and hit her head badly enough to require a trip to the emergency room. Mom lives in an excellent nursing home, so she was able to return there after the fall rather than go into the hospital. She did well for a time, but now they tell me that she is in the death process. I didn’t know that death was a process. How do I handle this? - Tammy

Read more on Inforum about attending the active death of a 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


Breaking the Sacred Promise: It’s Time for a Nursing Home

LonetreeIt’s something many of us have done. Our parents are in their middle years and have come home from visiting someone in a nursing home. The hospital-like structure of the older nursing home was disturbing to them. While relating their experience to you they say that they’d hate to end up in a place like that. You jump in and say with feeling and genuine belief, “I’d never put you in a nursing home!” Fast forward a few decades.

Read more on HealthCentral about breaking the promise not to put a loved one in a nursing home:

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


8 Tips for Recognizing Pain in a Person with Dementia

FacialExpressionsPeople with dementia, especially advanced dementia, often have a difficult time articulating pain. Sometimes they may not be cognitively aware that pain is the source of their distress. Therefore, it’s our responsibility, as those who provide for their care, to watch for signs of distress that may arise from pain.

View slide show on HealthCentral about recognizing pain in a person with dementia:

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