Ep. 27 February End of the Month Update on the End-of-Life with Dr. Karen Wyatt

In this February Update on End-of-Life Issues, Dr. Wyatt will discuss:

  • Medical schools put more emphasis on pain management education to help reduce over-prescribing of opioid medications, misuse of these drugs and subsequent OD’s, which have doubled in the past decade.
  • Dementia rates appear to be falling in the U.S. according to a recent report in NEJM due to the level of education and improved heart health of the senior population.
  • Prison hospices face a challenge in meeting the needs of dying patients for pain medications due to risks of misuse of meds within the prison walls.
  •  Johns Hopkins study published in JAMA shows impact of stress on family caregivers. New website caretransitions.org has tools and resources for caregivers and also to train “care transitions coaches” who can educate community members on the skills needed to become an effective caregiver. Hopefully this will alleviate some caregiver stress and increase the number of available caregivers.
  • Talk about the newly-released book “When Breath Becomes Air” by 36 y.o. neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi who wrote the book while dying of cancer.
  • Emergency care nurse instituted “The Pause” at a UVa hospital after a death in the ER to show respect and acknowledge the loss of life. Trend is spreading to other hospitals.
  • Similarly a photo circulated on Facebook showing doctors in China bowing to an 11 y.o. boy who asked that, after his death from a brain tumor, his organs be donated to save the lives of others. The medical staff bowed 3 times to honor his bravery and selflessness. Beautiful!
  • Article about homeless people dying on the streets and the need for options to care for those without suitable homes available as they are dying. Discussed the “social model hospice” option. See Episode 23 from February 1st for more info about the social model hospice.

Ep. 26 Death Takes the Stage: The Death Monologues with Giselle Suarez

Join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her special guest, actress Giselle Suarez, for a conversation about THE DEATH MONOLOGUES, a unique theatrical experience that dives into life’s greatest taboo. The Master of Ceremonies in this play is Death, who takes the audience through monologues with five different characters that shed light on the subject of death.

You will learn about this unique initiative to open up the conversation on death and dying:

  • how the arts can impact society’s atttudes toward death and dying
  • why an actress is motivated to present such a unique performance
  • how to support the arts as a medium for opening hearts and minds to the subject of dying

Ep. 25 Choosing Death by VSED with Phyllis Shacter

Join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her guest Phyllis Shacter, an advocate for natural dying through voluntary stopping of eating and drinking (VSED.) Phyllis will discuss the story of her husband Alan who made the choice to stop eating and drinking rather than progress into the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease. In this interview you will learn:

-factors that must be considered before making a decision for VSED as a means of dying with dignity
-the role a caregiver must play in this type of decision
-a personal perspective on the process of dying when a choice for VSED has been made

Join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her guest Phyllis Shacter, an advocate for natural dying through voluntary stopping of eating and drinking (VSED.) Phyllis will discuss the story of her husband Alan who made the choice to stop eating and drinking rather than progress into the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease. In this interview you will learn:

  • factors that must be considered before making a decision for VSED as a means of dying with dignity
  • the role a caregiver must play in this type of decision
  • a personal perspective on the process of dying when a choice for VSED has been made

Ep. 24 The Many Paths of Grief with Karen Wyatt MD

Dr. Karen Wyatt shares wisdom from her own personal journey of grief and tips from guests she has interviewed for End-of-Life University. Find practical suggestions for navigating the journey of grief.

In this podcast I will discuss eight tips for coping with grief I have learned through the many interviews I’ve conducted in the past for End-of-Life University. One of the common threads I’ve found in the stories of my guests for EOLU is that most of us have experienced the death of a loved one in the past and that our current interest in the end-of-life arena has been inspired in one way or another by that death and our subsequent grief process.

You will learn tips for coping with grief, practical suggestions for applying those tips to your own life situation and how to navigate the journey of grief that can be dark and lonely at times.

Ep. 23 Social Model Hospice Homes Can Revolutionize EOL Care with Mitcheal Metzner, PhD

Dr. Karen Wyatt interviews Dr. Mitch Metzner, founder and CEO of Anam Cara, a social model hospice house in California. In this interview you will learn:

-the history of the non-medical social model for hospice care
-the difference between the non-medical social model and the medical inpatient model of hospice care
-how to overcome community resistance to neighborhood hospice care
-guidelines for starting a social model hospice house
-how Anam Cara is meeting the challenges of being a small stand-alone non-profit organization

Dr. Karen Wyatt interviews Dr. Mitch Metzner, founder and CEO of Anam Cara, a social model hospice house in California. In this interview you will learn:

-the history of the non-medical social model for hospice care
-the difference between the non-medical social model and the medical inpatient model of hospice care
-how to overcome community resistance to neighborhood hospice care
-guidelines for starting a social model hospice house
-how Anam Cara is meeting the challenges of being a small stand-alone non-profit organization