Ep. 44 June End of Month Update on the End-of-Life with Dr. Karen Wyatt

As the month of June comes to an end Dr. Wyatt offers a summary of some of the interesting articles and posts on the end-0f-life that have been published during the month. The discussion includes:

  • A study from UNC showed that 3/4 of younger cancer patients (<65 years of age) with incurable disease receive  high rates of hospitalization and aggressive treatment during the last 30 days of life.
  • Dr. Ira Byock wrote an article “Why Do We Pay for Bad Healthcare” that was published online in STAT News. He questions why we continue to offer care with unproven benefits like feeding tubes in dementia patients and multiple-dose radiation for bone mets (rather than single-dose).
  • A survey of ICU nurses showed that very few are likely to be included in palliative care conversations with patients and their families. Obstacles mentioned are lack of training, not being asked for input by doctors, emotional toll of these discussions.
  • Arcadia Healthcare Solutions report that spending on people who die in a hospital is about 7 times greater than spending on patients who die at home.
  • Measure introduced in Congress by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham to create a national “Care Corps” (similar to Peace Corps) that would train young volunteer caregivers to meet the pending caregiver shortage.
  • Results of recent caregiver survey discussed which shows demographics of current family caregivers.
  • UK Survey reveals concerns of LGBT patients about accessing quality EOL care including fears of discrimination, concerns about getting spiritual needs met, unique family and support network structure, difficulty obtaining grief and bereavement support.
  • Reminder not to post “RIP” on social media sites after a death unless you are certain that family members and loved ones have been notified of the death.
  • Essay by Eric Weiner on his discover that in Bhutanese culture people contemplate their own death 5 times per day (and Bhutan has been named one of the happiest countries on the planet.)
  • Notable deaths in June: Muhammad Ali;  Dr.Dennis McCullough, founder of the Slow Medicine movement; mass shooting on June 12th in Orlando.
  • Tribute to Julianna Snow, 5 y.o. with progressive neurological disease who chose heaven rather than continuing painful treatments for her terminal disease.

Thanks for tuning in to the EOLU Podcast! I’m so honored to be able to share these thoughts and observations about the end-of-life with you.

If you are interested in offering your support to EOLU go to Patreon.com/eolu and contribute just $1 or $2 per month. You’ll receive some special bonuses if you offer your support! Also you can help out by going to iTunes and leaving a review, sharing this podcast with others, and sending me your comments!

Ep. 43 What To Do When Tragedy Strikes

 

In this episode Dr. Karen Wyatt shares her thoughts on how to cope with tragedy when you are a peripheral observer and don’t know how to help. She talks about her own feelings of helplessness after the 9/11 tragedy and shares some thoughts about specific things you can do to help you cope and find meaning after a horrific event has occurred. Her suggestions include:

  1. Give – donate blood, money, clothing, supplies, food, your time and energy–whatever might be needed most during a disaster. Contact your local Red Cross or other charitable relief organization to find what is needed and how you might be of help.
  2. Pray – even if you are not religious utilize prayer (or meditation, contemplation, or mindfulness) as a means of sending your love and light to others who are hurting right now. Attend a prayer vigil or memorial service if there is one in your area (or create one yourself.) Non-directed prayer for the good of all is more effective than directed prayer.
  3. Light a candle – Dr. Wyatt tells the story of lighting  7-day sanctuary candles after 9/11 as a symbol of shining light during a dark time.
  4. Look within – use this time of despair as an opportunity to look inside yourself and examine your own Shadow for hatred, anger and bitterness. Be inspired to heal your old wounds and help the collective Shadow heal as well.
  5. Practice compassion – work to find and express compassions for everyone involved in such a tragic incident: victims, their families and friends, the perpetrator, member of the community, state, nation, and world; and those who spread hatred instead of love.

Read the companion blog to this podcast here.

Sending you much love!!! Remember to check out the donation page at patreon.com/eolu if you’d like to support this podcast, sign up for End-of-Life University emails at eoluniversity.com, and leave reviews for this podcast on iTunes!

Blessings!!!

Ep. 42 The Shared Death Experience with Lizzy Miles

Today’s episode begins with a discussion about the mass shooting that just occurred in Orlando, Florida on June 12th. Dr. Wyatt shares some thoughts about why the Shadow side of life is emerging right now and what each of us must do to help our society: work on our own Shadow wounds and fears. She mentions her online home study course “Get Over It for Good: Healing the Hidden Wounds of Childhood” which you can check out at this link if you are interested:

Get Over it For Good Course

Next Dr. Wyatt introduces her guest Lizzy Miles who is a hospice social worker and who brought the first Death Cafe to the US in 2012. You’ll hear a little about how that took place and then Lizzy will tell the story of a Shared Death Experience she had when her aunt was dying. This interview will cover:

  • the definition of an SDE
  • how SDE’s differ from NDE’s
  • why it is important to accept the metaphysical experiences of patients and family members near the time of death
  • myths surrounding the dying process

Remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you TODAY! Life is short so don’t waste a moment of it!

Go to Patreon.com/eolu if you are interested in supporting this podcast and the EOLU interview series by donating $1 or $2 per month. Also be sure to share this podcast with your friends and leave reviews on iTunes if you enjoy the podcast!

 

 

Ep. 41 Creating Sacred Space in the Midst of Chaos

Today Dr. Karen Wyatt thanks her new Patron Leslie Robertson for her support of EOLU on the donation page at patreon.com/eolu . Leslie is working on a project to train unemployed women in their 40’s-60’s to do end-of-life work. If you become a patron, as well, Dr. Wyatt will mention your name and your work in a future episode.

Next Dr. Wyatt talks about the stresses endured by hospice workers in this time when both healthcare and death have become a business. She discusses the impact of late admissions to hospice on the workers who must care for patients and their families when there is only a short time to meet their needs. This talk includes:

  • Finding meaning in dying even when you work for a “business”
  • The sacredness inherent in the dying process
  • A helpful mindset for dealing with the stress of end-of-life work
  • How to be a channel for love and compassion rather than generating them from your own heart
  • Body/Mind/Spirit practices for self-care to ensure that you can help create sacred space for patients
  • The Lovingkindness Blessing:
    • May I be at peace.
    • May my heart remain open.
    • May I realize the beauty of my own true nature.
    • May I be healed.
    • May I be a source of healing for this world.

Thanks for listening! Remember to leave reviews for this podcast on iTunes and help support EOLU at patreon.com/eolu.