It’s the end of August and time for another End of Month Update on the End-of-Life. Today Dr. Wyatt discusses the following stories from the news and social media:
Baycrest Health Sciences reported a study that ongoing mental stimulation for the elderly can counteract the contribution of the Western diet toward cognitive decline
Some hospitals are creating Acute Care for Elders units to ensure that the elderly receive focused care that will enable them to return to a functional level and be able to return home. There are ~200 such units in the US right now.
UCLA’s Geriatric unit has found significant overmedication of their elderly patients and has hired a pharmacist to help adjust medications for their patients – reported in Washington Post
CMS encouraging states to use Medicaid dollars to pay for in-home care for their elderly rather than nursing home stays
Pilot Study shows that offering intensive education for in-home caregivers helps decrease ER visits and hospitalizations
Illinois law regulates training standards for Alzheimer’s caregivers
Revised “Demoralization Scale” for evaluating patients decline in morale during cancer treatment
Patients who use emotional support and acceptance as coping strategies have increased quality of life, decreased anxiety and depression compared to patients who resort to denial and self-blame
Story of Disney Princess Party held for the daughter of a young mother who is dying of brain cancer
Story of California woman with ALS who held a 2-day “going away” party before using the assisted dying law to end her life
Thanks for tuning in to the podcast! Remember you can support this show and the End-of-Life University Interview Series on Patreon.com/eolu.
Today Dr. Wyatt shares some tips on starting a film series in your community to encourage conversations about death and dying. Movies are a great way to touch and inspire people and open their hearts and minds to new information. You can get your own film series by following the steps below:
Define your target audience – know who you want to serve with this information and how many people you anticipate might attend
Find partners – look for organizations in your community that can serve as donors or sponsors
Locate a venue – try to find a free space by asking one of your partners to donate the use of their facility
Decide what to charge – create a budget and find out if you will need to sell tickets for the event or can ask for donations instead
Create an event schedule – decide how long your event should be and whether or not you can include time for a discussion group, panel, or guest lecturer after the film; also choose the day and time for your event so you can book the venue in advance if this is an ongoing monthly series
Choose your films – consider both feature films and documentaries as you plan your schedule. Go to eoluniversity.com/films to view a list of suggested films for your series
Promote your event – ask your community partners to help you get the word out
Let me know if you decide to do a film series! I would love to hear it turns out!
Remember to go to Patreon.com/eolu if you are interested in supporting this podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series with a small donation.
Tune in each Monday for a new episode and remember:
In this episode Dr. Wyatt thanks her supporter Cathy Zheutlin who is a film producer currently making a documentary called “Living While Dying.” If you would like to support this podcast go to Patreon.com/eolu where you can make a donation of $1 or $2 per month to help defray the expenses of the podcast. Your name will be mentioned on the podcast as a thank you!
Dr. Wyatt discusses Advance Directives from a doctor’s point of view and relates stories about situations involving “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of this legal paperwork. The discussion includes:
AD’s are legal forms best applied to long-term situations and can be helpful to prevent or terminate life-supporting care that is actually prolonging suffering and the dying process
we may wish that having AD’s in place will give us some measure of control over the circumstances of our death, but this is often not the case – there are many scenarios in which wishes cannot be carried out
AD’s are no substitute for having conversations with loved ones about our end-of-life wishes
be sure to communicate your wishes with everyone who might have a stake or concern about your dying process – make sure everyone hears the same message
update your loved ones whenever your wishes change
face your own fears of dying and of being kept alive in order to be extremely clear about your wishes – revisit these thoughts frequently
recognize that in the end circumstances may be out of everyone’s control and your wishes may not be followed. Find peace with that scenario and help alleviate any guilt your loved ones might carry if your wishes are not met.
Tune in next week for another episode of EOLU! Sign up for the End-of-Life University Interview series – 2 new interviews each month about all aspects of death and dying. Register here to be notified when the next interview is available.
Today Dr. Karen Wyatt thanks her latest Patreon.com supporter Zanya Biviano, who is the creator of the Grief Support Kit. The kit consists of the Finding Hope in Grief book, DVD, and CD, which make a beautiful gift for anyone who is grieving. You can read more about the kit and order it at www.griefsupportkit.com. As a special offer to podcast listeners, if you purchase one kit between now and August 12, 2016 you will receive TWO kits at no extra charge, with no additional postage! This is an incredibly generous offer from Zanya, so be sure to order your kits right away!!
Dr. Wyatt reminds listeners that they can support the EOLU Podcast and Interview Series by offering a donation on Patreon.com/eolu, by purchasing the EOLU Access Pass, or by buying her books on Amazon.com.
In this episode Dr. Wyatt discusses the fact that the country of Bhutan has been named one of the happiest countries in the world and the Bhutanese people practice contemplating death five times a day. There is a link between overcoming the fear of death, increasing joy and happiness in life, and improving overall health. Therefore the practice of thinking about death on a daily basis could offer many benefits. Tips for developing such a practice:
Establish a regular time each day for a death awareness practice
Stay relaxed by using deep breathing
Make it a pleasant experience by adding music, aromatherapy, art
Avoid fearful images of death and dying
Focus on the “big picture”
Keep a journal
Finally Dr. Wyatt talks about her newly released ebook “The Tao of Death” which is an adaptation of Lao Tzu’s “Tao Te Ching.” You can learn more about the book at the link below. There is also a free Companion Journal for this book with a daily prompt for each of the 81 verses of the Tao of Death.
Today Dr. Wyatt is inspired to share an interview with Dr. Judith London, a psychologist who cares for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. If you listened to last week’s podcast you heard a mention of “Memory Cafes” that are being held in Minnesota. Dr. London share her own stories and experiences with creating support groups for Alzheimer’s patients.
This interview will cover:
why Dr. London was inspired to work with and write about Alzheimer’s patients
what are the major challenges faced by caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients
tips for caregivers in relating to their loved ones with Alzheimer’s
how hospice and palliative care workers can be more supportive of family caregivers