Hospice 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:

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“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


Adult Children Should Accept Reality of Dad’s End-of-life Wishes

CommunicatingDear Carol: My husband is seriously ill with lung disease. He also has crippling arthritis and neuropathy. His children from a previous marriage have been grown adults during our 15 years together and we used to get along fine. They don’t live in our community and don’t visit often, but now that my husband is so ill they feel that they must control his care. All three want aggressive care for their dad even though my husband decided years back that when he got to this stage he wanted comfort care. The kids consider palliative care giving up and blame me for their dad not wanting to “keep fighting.” I’m tired of being the recipient of their anger over their dad’s health. Virginia

Read more on Inforum about grown children in denial:

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


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


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


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