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review 2018-05-03 04:21
Life in a Hospice: Reflections on Caring for the Dying - Anne Richardson

Three and a half star rating.
Informative, with contributions from people who work or have dealings with these wonderful places. Dealing with all aspects of hospices. Ensuring that no one need fear of either sending a relative or going into one in their final days or weeks.

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review 2017-10-15 15:04
Hospice Whispers: Stories of Life ★★★★★
Hospice Whispers: Stories of Life - Rev Dr. Carla Cheatham

A short book and quick read that uses brief vignettes to illustrate some key principles of providing hospice care. The principle audience is chaplains, but I feel it provides good, useful information for all professions, and probably even for lay people who may be looking for ways to support family or friends who are going through an end of life experience.

 

Thoughts:

  • Snippets of science-based knowledge regarding the patient experience and abilities at end of life and through the progression of dementia and how physical changes can impact a person’s ability to perceive and process information and to communicate. Using that knowledge, we can look for ways to help people find peace and contentment at end of life. The focus can shift from what they can no longer really do as they decline physically and cognitively, but to what they can still do.
  • Offers examples of practical tools and techniques to connect with patients and their families
  • Reinforced over and over – we cannot presume to know what the patient and family need. We are not the experts on knowing what their end of life experience should look like. We must be respectful to the ethic of autonomy and dignity that we are called to honor. For some people, it’s physical closeness and prayer. For some, it’s popcorn and games of dominoes. For some, it’s watching TV shows that may include violence and explicit sexual content.
  • Reminder that there may be family history and dynamics that we don’t know about, so do not make assumptions based on the information available to us. We cannot make judgements, determine who is right or wrong, make excuses, or take sides in conflicts. We can only use the information to “be more aware of how the grief process and medical care are being impacted by those patterns”.
  • Reminder that we are not there to “fix”, only to provide support at end of life. Must develop the ability to just “be with ourselves”, not filling up the silence with noise and distractions, so that we can just “be” with our patients, and to “sit with compassionate equanimity” in the midst of another’s spiritual, emotional, or physical pain.
  • Hospice workers must set boundaries and engage in self-care, and bring a healthy and full self to their work, not look to take self-fulfillment from the patients and families that they are there to help.

 

Quote: “Chaplain, if one more kind, loving, well-intentioned, good-hearted person tells me my momma is in a better place, I’m gonna slap the shit out of them!”… I took her hands and said, “On behalf of all the kind, loving, well-intentioned, good-hearted but misguided people who say stupid things, I am so sorry. And when you slap the shit out of them, tell them you have the chaplain’s permission to do so.”

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review 2017-04-01 15:50
On My Way Home: A Hospice Nurse's Journe... On My Way Home: A Hospice Nurse's Journey with Terminal Cancer - Joyce Hutchison

Three and a half star rating.
A short account of the author's battle with cancer and ultimate death, plus a little about her life - the irony being that she used to take care of people in this exact same position. A sad book of course given the subject matter, but also uplifting as she faced her treatment and final days with courage and dignity. This lady thought a lot about other people, especially her family who did all they could for her, and not much about herself. This was a very moving book and came away feeling Joyce would have been a wonderful friend.

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review 2015-10-07 14:38
Book Review: The Art of Being a Healing Presence by James E Miller, Susan Cutshall
The Art of being a Healing Presence - James E Miller,Susan Cutshall

"The Art of Being a Healing Presence: A Guide for those in Caring Relationships" is inspirational, practical and useful. With simple but profound wisdom this short book reminds us that healing begins within. An important theme throughout the book is that healing of both body and spirit is an art, not a science. Like all the arts, healing oneself and others requires self-mastery: that ability to still the noise of the mind so that the soul's sacred whispers can be heard.

Using easy-to-read language, inspiring quotes, short chapters broken down into quick paragraphs, and ending with a summary of the steps necessary to be a healing presence, this book is essential reading for anyone who is in a caring position, whether a professional carer, or home-carer for a loved one.

"The Art of BEing a Healing Presence" is a book that "practices what it preaches" - by the time I finished reading it, I was filled with the sense of calm and purpose that can often be stripped from us in the course of our stressful days and too-busy lives.

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review 2015-01-09 22:20
Hospice Voices
Hospice Voices: Lessons for Living at the End of Life - Eric Lindner

Hospice Voices: Lessons for Living at the End of Life by Eric Lindner is not an evaluative, fact-based look at hospice care and the choices facing families and the medical profession for end of life care. It is a personal story of the relationships that hospice volunteering brought to Eric and his family and a tribute to the patients whose legacy is now captured in the pages of this book.

 

Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2015/01/hospice-voices-lessons-for-living-at.html

 

Source: www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2015/01/hospice-voices-lessons-for-living-at.html
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