My awesome Spain trip is at an end as this episode airs and I’ll be making my way back to Colorado! You can check out all of my pictures on Instagram at kwyattmd!
Tune in next week to hear my stories from Spain!
In this presentation Stephanie Ryu will discuss her role as a chaplain on the palliative care team.
You will learn:
How the work of a palliative care chaplain differs from other chaplaincy work
The role of spiritual care in the whole-person approach to illness and healing
The importance of spirituality at the end of life
How chaplains assist patients of all religions and those who follow no religion
Stephanie Ryu is a graduate of St. Xavier University and Fuller Theological Seminary. She completed CPE Residency at Providence St. Joseph – Burbank in 2012-13 along with a 6-month fellowship in hospice and palliative care. She now serves as a Palliative Care Chaplain for Providence Health and Services.
In Part 3 of our series on palliative care I share an interview with Andrea Strouth MSW a social worker on the palliative care team. She’ll talk about her role on the team to help us understand why social workers play an important part in the care of patients with advanced illness.
At the time of this broadcast I’m still enjoying my Spain trip – probably eating some tapas in Barcelona! I’ll be returning home in a few weeks but meanwhile check out my photos on Instagram at kwyattmd!
In this presentation Andrea Strouth LCSW, MSW will discuss the role of the social worker on the palliative care team.
You will learn:
The duties of the palliative care team social worker
Why palliative patients might need social work services
How the multidisciplinary palliative care team functions as a unit
The rewards of working on a palliative care team
Andrea Strouthreceived her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently working at Providence Health & Services-Southern California to help develop their outpatient palliative care program. Previously, Andrea worked at the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine and in the Medical and Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Units at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her passion lies in advanced care planning and education surrounding end-of-life issues to ensure patients feel empowered in every aspect of their care.
Tune in next Monday for Part 4 of this series. If you find this content helpful please share it with other and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Also your contributions to my page at Patreon.com/eolu are always appreciated!
In this episode I share my thoughts on how to approach the very difficult task of making an end-of-life decision about the treatment a loved one should receive. Many people are called upon to be decision-makers in these challenging situations and this episode serves as a guide for choosing the best option for someone we love.Download the handout below:
This episode is sponsored by Suzanne O’Brien and her training program for caring for others at the end of life at Doulagivers.com and by your generous donations on my page at Patreon.com/eolu! Join the team and receive special bonuses as a thank-you!
Thank you to all of my patrons and sponsors! Your support means everything to me!
Every day families are called upon to make nearly impossible decisions about the type of care a loved one should receive as they near the end of life. Here are some suggestions for how to navigate this challenging situation when there is no advance directive available for guidance:
Gather medical information from all healthcare providers involved in care
Ask direct questions:
What is the diagnosis and what complications have occurred?
What is the effectiveness of the recommended treatment?
What are the chances for recovery or improvement?
Are there side effects from the treatment or will it cause additional suffering?
What will happen if treatment is stopped?
What would you do if this were your loved one?
Get expert advice and guidance from a palliative care team if available in your hospital
Remember past conversations with your loved one that might give you clues as to his or her preferences for the end of life
Consider the statistics that most Americans prefer to die at home and most do not want aggressive treatment to prolong life in the face of an incurable condition
Ask your loved one for guidance by expressing your concern and your desire to make the best decision. Even though your loved one cannot verbalize, they can hear you – listen for any intuitive or “felt” guidance that might come to you about the best choice to make.
Be gentle with yourself and recognize that you have done your best in a challenging situation
Seek support from others outside your family
Tune in next week for another episode! Share this content with others who might it helpful and consider leaving a review on iTunes.
Learn how answering just one question can simplify your decision-making process for end-of-life planning.
In this episode I’ll share how one simple question helped clarify my Mom’s end-of-life wishes and why I recommend starting there to put your own advance care planning into the proper perspective. This episode is sponsored by my course “Step-by-Step Roadmap for End-of-Life Planning.“
You can still join my online reading group for 2018 “A Year of Reading Dangerously” and read a book each month on death, dying and the afterlife. Sign up here.
Thank you to all of my supporters on Patreon.com/eolu! Your donations mean a lot to me!
Putting our wishes for the end of life into writing is more complicated than it seems. We can easily get lost when we start to consider all of the options available and make decisions about what we do or do not want for care during out last days.
When my mother was trying to complete her living we finally found a simple way to clarify what really mattered to her. I asked her to tell me how she wanted it to be when she was taking her last breaths in this life. And she answered right away: “I want to be in my own home with you taking care of me.”
That one question changed everything for us and her answer guided all of the decisions that we made together as a family for the next five years before her death. I have spent time thinking about the one question myself and it is clear to me that the only thing that will really matter to me when I am ready to die is love. I will want to be as near as possible to the people I love.
You can use this one question too:
Imagine your last moments of life: how do you want it to be?
Describe what you see in positive terms first: Who is with you? Where are you?
Keep it simple to avoid being overwhelmed. Just a few details are all you need to describe.
Finally add your 2-3 absolute DO-NOT’s to the picture. What do you definitely NOT want to have happen during your last moments? Again – limit the number to those things you feel strongest about. Your family will remember 2-3 requests but not 10-12.
Start talking now about your positive vision for your final moments and let your family know what you envision. When you engage them in your vision they are more likely to help you create it. They will have had time to think about your vision and to imagine themselves being part of it.
No matter what start thinking about the end of life now. It’s never too soon to get your plans in order! Consider signing up for the Step-by-Step Roadmap for End-of-Life Planning if you’d like to have a doctor by your side as you make decisions for yourself!
Learn how a minimalist lifestyle can help you find more joy and meaning as you approach the later days of life.
In this episode I share my thoughts on why the minimalist lifestyle could help us avoid excessive and unnecessary medical treatment at the end of life. In addition there are many other benefits to living simply and with “less is more” as our goal when we get older.
You can still join A Year of Reading Dangerously and confront your own discomfort about death, dying and the afterlife by reading one “dangerous” book each month in 2018! Sign up here!
Get the Teaching Guidelines for a Death & Dying Class and you’ll be on the mailing list to learn about the next class on creating your own course in death and dying coming up soon! Sign up and download here!
I’m so grateful this week to my latest supporters on Patreon.com/eolu! Thank you so much to Glenda Myles, Malynda Cress, Karen Britton, Mila Martin, and Tami Yinger! Your generosity means so much to me! If you want to join them go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more about the bonuses you’ll receive for signing up!
The minimalist movement is all the rage right now among millennials and it has a lot of positive aspects we can learn from. The emphasis is on living simply, with less material possessions in order to have more joy and freedom in life. This lifestyle could serve us well as we approach our own end of life. Here are some ways to live more simply:
Clear out possessions that you no longer use or cherish. This idea has been described in a recent blog and book about the Swedish practice of “death-cleaning.”
Comes to terms with mortality. Recognize that life is finite and death is inevitable, therefore it is important to be intentional about how you live each moment in every day, including what kind of healthcare you choose.
Take control over your healthcare – be proactive and question recommendations in these areas:
Medications – Ask if the drugs you are taking are still necessary, if they could be causing side effects or creating negative interactions with one another. Ask if you can try reducing dosages or the number of medications you are being prescribed. Many seniors are taking at least 5 prescription medications according to studies.
Annual exam – studies show that the annual physical exam wastes money and time and might even be harmful. Ask if you can decrease to one physical every 3 yeats.
Health screenings – Over age 70 it is no longer recommended that you have the following screening tests: colonoscopy, mammogram, PSA, pap smear. Studies show that excessive screening can lead to false positive results, over-diagnosis and harmful over-treatment.
Plan aheadand be prepared in order to minimize complications in these areas:
Aging – How will you manage the physical changes of later life? Who will help you?
Housing – Where will you live if you can’t stay in your own home?
Terminal care – What type of treatment do you want to receive at the end of life and for how long?
After-death care – What type of funeral and burial do you want to have?
Learn to live in the moment – so you can enjoy all of life.