Willie R. was a 61-year-old gentleman who had suffered a major stroke and had additional health challenges. The request for a volunteer was to do respite visits on Thursday afternoons so his wife Ms. Anna could go shopping and visit
Of the several patients that I met during the palliative care and hospice rotation, I noticed that social support seemed to be a big factor in patients’ interpretation of their experience. Some patients had family members with them at their
One of my favorite quotes about grief comes from the book Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s a very simple, but very profound line: “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” Put another way, the relationships that we form while people are living
Illness and disability affect everyone differently. As a caregiver, it is challenging dealing with your loved one as they become anxious, resistant, or demanding. You can’t always control the other person’s behavior, but you can control your response to it.
Ms. Nellie was an 80-year-old African-American lady. She struggled with sugar diabetes that she called Ms. Shugala. Over the years, she had to have her right leg and three toes on her left foot amputated. The left foot incision did
As I sat in my hospice interdisciplinary group meeting, reviewing the many patients who have died in the past two weeks as well as our new patients, there was a slight break in the discussion. Being ever the multitasker, I
In the wake of media attention to tragedy around the world and in our backyards, it is often tempting for adults and caregivers to shelter children from the reality of death. But shielding kids from tragic death can be just
Making decisions as a caregiver almost always comes with pressure and stress. Even if aware of the loved one’s wishes, circumstances may make them seem less definable and unclear. Consequences of these decisions can affect your loved one’s life and
Jack was a World War II veteran. He had advanced cancer. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy no longer helped and he was referred to hospice services.
He had enlisted in the Army very early in the war. He was a farm boy
I did not have many expectations going into the hospice experience, as I had no prior experience in the process during either my personal life or my medical training. I did, however, expect it to be a solemn experience, since