Hospice Feed

The Rally Before Death In Preparation for the Final Journey

ColorSky...One story that stands out in my memory was told to me while interviewing people for “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” The woman’s whole family had gathered by her father’s bedside. It had been days for some, hours for others, but they had all arrived. Their father had been withdrawing into himself, and they knew that his time to leave would soon come. Then, he rallied. He was able to sit up and even talk a bit. There was a spark in his eye. He told his family to go and get something to eat. During the time it took the family to grab some fast food at a nearby restaurant, the father died.

Read the full article about the rally before death on Agingcare:

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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


Terminally Ill? Where We Live Can Affect Aggressiveness of Treatment

Prayer-10021187You’ve had an advanced health directive, often called a living will, drawn up along with your other legal documents. This vital document tells medical people how you should be treated if you can’t speak for yourself. It also names a health proxy to speak for you. This advanced directive is also included in a Power Of Attorney for health. You congratulate yourself on getting this task done. You’re confident that your wishes will be followed no matter what happens to your health.

Read more on HealthCentral about how where you live may affect your end-of-life care:

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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


Long-Married Couples Often Die Close Together

BirdPairMy first exposure to this phenomenon happened when my parents were in a nursing home. I visited daily and knew the staff and many of the residents. One elderly man on their floor had later stage Alzheimer's disease. His wife of many decades visited him at least once a day until she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Even during the worst of her treatment, she visited as often as she could. Then, she died.

Read more on Agingcare about how long-married couples often die close together:

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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


Wishes To Die For: Keeping End-of-Life Documents Updated

WishesToDieFor“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 more on Inforum about end-of-life wishes and how they change:

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Pain: How Is It Perceived by People with Dementia?

WildWater It’s far too easy for onlookers to view someone with dementia as unable to feel pain. Since the disease eventually renders most people helpless and cognitively inexpressive, they can't articulate what hurts or why they are upset. Caring researchers have now brought new insight to this issue. In an article on altered pain processing in patients with cognitive impairment, Medical News Today states that new research shows how wrong previous ideas about what people with cognitive disorders could feel have been.

Read more on HealthCentral about how people with dementia experience pain:

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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


Hospice Chaplains Can Often Help People Accept Pending Death

LoneEagleDear Carol: My dad is dying of esophageal cancer at the age of 67. Mom died 16 years ago, so it has been just Dad and me for a long time. We’re very close and I am afraid for him to die. We’ve never been religious. I don’t know where to turn or what to tell him to make his passing easier. Can you offer any encouragement? Jess

Read more on Inforum about coping with death and dying:

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Hospital Compare Joins Nursing Home Compare As Consumer Tool

GlassesComputersmallerThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently developed a tool that compares hospitals in a way that is similar to their popular Nursing Home Compare. Aptly called Hospital Compare, the tool allows consumers to view hospital ratings that are based on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS). HCAHPS measures patients’ perspectives of hospital care and has been in use since 2006.

Continue reading on HealthCentral about Hospital Compare:

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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


Telling a Loved One That Hospice Is the Next Step of the Journey

RoadWhen the paperwork was finally signed to get hospice care for my dad, I was grateful. There would now be a routine of care for him where he could live in comfort. That's all he really wanted. However, I knew that breaking this news to Mom would be difficult. She'd have to finally admit, and somehow accept, the fact that Dad was dying. After all, hospice care is for people diagnosed as terminally ill.

Read more on Agingcare about helping a loved one accept that hospice care is next:

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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


Caregiver Struggles With Suffering and Pending Death of Loved One

Dear Carol: My dad had Parkinson’s disease for years and then developed dementia which has taken everything from him. Dad was once a big man but is now skin and bones. He can’t walk or talk. While his thinking has been confused for a long time, now he’s nearly unresponsive. He’s under hospice care and they are wonderful but I can hardly stand watching this. I want him to die. Is this terrible? I love him so much but this is just too much to bear. I know that hospice is keeping him out of pain, but what about me? What is the purpose in all of this? Watching him waste away is destroying my faith. Does this happen to others? Lori 

Read more on Inforum about Hospice and impending death:

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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


"I Want To Go Home" - A Search for Comfort?

Most of us who've cared for people with dementia have heard the sad, repetitive lament, "I want to go home." If the person lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility, relatives naturally think that the home the elder wants to return to is the last place he or she lived before going to the care home.

Read more on Agingcare about parents who want to "go home"

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

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