Learn about the power of touch to bring comfort and dignity to patients at the end of life.
My guest Elizabeth Erbrecht is a massage therapist and end-of-life doula who specializes in touch and massage for the dying. We’ll talk about the importance of touch for all of us and especially for patients at the end of life. Elizabeth shares information from her guide book Nurturing Touch for the Dying and how to get comfortable touching our dying patients. Learn more at her website:
Learn how death doula training helped this physician find more meaning and fulfillment in her end-of-life medical practice.
My guest Dr. Jackie Yeager is a hospice and palliative care physician who has also trained as a death doula in order to provide the best possible care to her patients. She discusses her passion for slow medicine, especially at the end of life, and describes a new course she is launching on medical information for caregivers and death doulas. Learn more about the Informed Caregiver Course at her website:
Join the team at Patreon.com/eoluand get access to the EOLU mug: “Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it)
If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new Patrons: Kimberly Ogle, Linda McCarthy and Sherilee Bakken!
Learn about the best of EOLU in 2018 and how to catch up if you missed any of these events!
“Death Education for Everyone” was the theme for 2018 and we’ll review all the great educational content that was provided in the past year. It’s not too late to listen in on the best webinars and interviews of the year before we get started on a brand new season of EOLU! Check out the links for the events you’ve missed in the description below.
Happy New Year to each and every one of you!
BIG NEWS!! Starting in 2019 the EOLU Interview Series will merge with the EOLU Podcast – so all the great interviews you are used to hearing on the interview series will now be available as podcast episodes. This means you can subscribe to the podcast and listen to the interviews on your phone while you are on the go! In addition you’ll be able to hear the solo episodes (like this one) where I share my wisdom, inspiration, and ideas for embracing the end of life and living fully today.
You can subscribe to the podcast at one of the following links (whichever podcast app you use):
Thanks for all of your support in 2018! I appreciate you for listening in and encouraging me to keep going. And I’m especially grateful to those of you who have become patrons on my donation page at Patreon.com/eolu: you make my heart sing!
2018 has been a wonderful year for EOLU that began with a goal of supporting “Death Education for Everyone.” In support of that goal the following programs were created:
A Year of Reading Dangerously online reading group; we’ve read one book a month this year and held 9 live book discussions with authors of the books in attendance. Nearly 1,000 readers from around the world have joined together to read the same book at the same time. We’ve all learned a lot about death, dying and the afterlife and have had fun in the process!
The “best” interviews of 2018 (though they were all fantastic!);
Hansa Bergwall talking about the WeCroak app he created for smart phones that reminds you of your mortality 5 times a day. Listen here.
Dr. Bob Uslander who has pioneered a new concierge model of end-of-life care, which could be a game-changer for the medical system and how we help patients navigate their last days. Listen here.
Alua Arthur of Going With Gracetalked about the legal issues that can occur after death and how to prepare for them in advance. Listen here.
Deanna Cochran RN and Suzanne O’Brien RN both talked about the creation of the End-of-Life Doula Council by the NHPCO and the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance, which now provides certification training for doulas. Listen to Deanna’s interview here. Listen to Suzanne’s interview here.
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 Part 2 of our series on palliative care I share an interview with Rebekah Riemer a palliative care nurse. She’ll talk about her role on the team and why she decided to specialize in palliative care nursing.
My Spain trip continues this week as I visit more of Andalucia and take in some flamenco dancing. I’ll be returning home in a few weeks but meanwhile check out my photos on Instagram at kwyattmd!
In this presentation Rebekah Riemer RN will discuss the role of the nurse on the palliative care team and her own story of being called to work in palliative.
You will learn:
How Beka was introduced to palliative care as a family member of a patient and a patient herself
The typical duties of a palliative care nurse
How palliative care meets the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families
The most common misperceptions about palliative care for the public and for healthcare providers
Rebekah “Beka” Riemer, RN, CCRN was an intensive care nurse for over eight years, working in surgical as well as medical ICUs and currently works as the Nurse Coordinator on the Inpatient Palliative Care Team at Providence Little Company of Mary in Torrance, California. She is on the team working towards the recertification of the Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Palliative Care. She serves on the Critical Care Committee representing nursing and Palliative Care, as well as on the Ethics Committee and Mortality Committee.
In addition, Ms. Riemer volunteers at the Leukemia Lymphoma Society of America (LLSA), Los Angeles, CA chapter. In 2013, she was 1st runner up for Woman of the Year, as she raised over $50,000 for leukemia/lymphoma research for the LLSA. Ms. Riemer has been an ELNEC-Critical Care faculty member for over five years.
She also spoke at the National Teaching Institute for Critical Care Nurses in 2017, speaking about the importance of integrating Palliative Care in Critical Care settings. She will also be published in the 5th edition of the Oxford Textbook for Palliative Care Nursing in the seventh chapter titled, “ Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Teams: Specialists in Delivering Palliative Care”.
Tune in next Monday for Part 3 of our series on palliative care! If you enjoy this content please share it with others who might find it helpful and consider leaving a review on iTunes!
This episode is the first of a 4-part series that introduces you to the members of a palliative care team. Today Dr. Colin Scibetta discusses his role as the physician on the team and how palliative care differs from hospice care. In future episodes you’ll hear from the team nurse, social worker and chaplain.
As this episode airs I am enjoying a trip through Spain, including cycling in the Andalucia region! I’ll be back home in a few weeks to report on the trip. Follow me on Instagram to see my photos at kwyattmd or this link: https://www.instagram.com/kwyattmd/
This interview will cover:
What palliative care consists of
The difference between palliative care and hospice
The benefits of palliative care for patients
How the whole-person approach of palliative medicine also benefits care providers
Why Providence Institute for Human Caring (et al) was awarded the Circle of Life Award from the American Hospital Association
Colin Scibetta MD is a fellowship-trained palliative medicine physician who complete his undergrad in neuroscience and biology at Wesleyan University. He then moved to Ecuador where he worked on a health initiative for indigenous communities impacted by oil development. Dr. Scibetta did his undergraduate medical training at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, where he also completed an internal medicine residency and a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine.
Remember to tune in next week for Part 2 of this palliative care series! If you enjoy this content be sure to share it with others who might find it helpful and consider leaving a review on iTunes.
In this episode I share an interview with Cheryl Jones, host of the Good Grief Radio Show, therapist and author of the newly-released novel An Ocean Between Them. We talk about the important subject of meeting the needs of members of the LGBTQ community at the end of life, which is part of the story told in her new book. Learn about Cheryl’s work here.
I’ll be leaving for Spain in just a few days! While I’m traveling you will be able to listen to a 4-part series on Palliative Care during this podcast so you won’t miss a single episode! If you’re interested you can follow my photos on Instagram at kwyattmd!
A HUGE THANK YOU to my latest supporters on Patreon.com/eolu: Lisa Milton, Debbie Hall and Christine Hazard Phillips. Your contributions are greatly appreciated and help keep this podcast and the EOLU Interview Series on the air. Join the team to get special bonus content!
CSU Institute for Palliative Care is holding a National Symposium on Palliative Care in San Diego October 11-12. Go to CSUpalliativecare.org to learn more.
My guest Cheryl Jones is a grief counselor, host of the Good Grief Radio Show on VoiceAmerica, and the author of the newly-released novel An Ocean Between Them. We will discuss the challenges that LGBTQ people experience in receiving care at the end of life and ways to make our organizations and facilities more inclusive.
In this interview you will learn:
Why members of the LGBTQ community access less healthcare than the general populatioN
Obstacles faced by LGBTQ individuals in receiving care in residential facilities, hospices, hospitals
Why a durable medical power of attorney is an essential document for all LGBTQ individuals
How the organization SAGE advocates for LGBTQ seniors
How to find common ground in end-of-life care even when we don’t agree on lifestyle choices
About post-traumatic growth and why it’s important to foster
Ways to create an LGBTQ-supportive environment in your organization or business
About Cheryl’s novel that addresses the challenges of LGBTQ relationships with family at the end of life
Cheryl Jones is the host of the radio show Good Grief. She is also a grief counselor and cancer educator. During her education as a Marriage and Family Therapist, her first wife was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which was at the time a uniformly terminal illness with a six month to one year prognosis. In the eight + years that followed, Cheryl engaged daily in the work of preparing for her death. She received training during this period from Stephen and Ondrea Levine (Who Dies and Grieving Into Life and Death) and Richard Olney (founder of Self-Acceptance Training). After her wife’s death, Cheryl immersed herself in her own multifaceted grief, surprised by frequent moments of joy.
Cheryl is a consultant and group leader at the Free Therapy Program of the Women’s Cancer Resource Center, where she developed, manages and teachies in their Continuing Education program. She has trained extensively with Erving Polster, leader in the field of gestalt therapy and author of Everybody’s Life is worth a Novel. She was Clinical Director at the Alternative Family Project, which served the therapeutic needs of LGBTQ families in San Francisco. Finally she is the author of the recently published novel: An Ocean Between Them.
This episode is sponsored by Authentic Presence training for healthcare providers from the Spiritual Care Program. You can receive a certificate in contemplative end-of-life care by completing this series of three courses, including an 8-day residential immersion retreat. Highly recommended!
Today Julie Saeger Nierenberg and Victoria Brewster join me to talk about their book Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life, which is a compilation of quotes, stories and resources that look at death from various perspectives. In our conversation we discuss:
How Julie and Vikki ended up collaborating on this book
How the stories in the book are organized:
Personal Stories of Professionals and Lay People
Professional Support and Caregiving Perspectives
Funeral Home, Post-Death and Alternative Burial
Grief and Bereavement
How they chose the contributors for the book
The feedback they’ve received from readers
How this book of stories can be useful in many settings for both professionals and lay people
How to submit a story for the next book in the series which will feature various cultural, ethnic and religious perspectives on death and dying
In this episode I share some thoughts about how to get involved in the end-of-life movement if you have recently become interested in death and dying. You’ll hear about my best ideas for contributing to change in the way people die and offering your service to others.
Welcome to our new sponsor: Authentic Presence Training from the Spiritual Care Program. Authentic Presence brings together practical contemplative resources with the knowledge and skills of modern hospice and palliative care. Suitable for professionals from all faith traditions or none, the course draws its inspiration particularly from Buddhist contemplative practice, the acclaimed classic The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, the work of the Dalai Lama, as well as contemplative neuroscience. Learn more here.
Join me and my guest Suzanne O’Brien RN for a free webinar: “EOL Doula Training for Caregivers and Volunteers” on Tuesday July 24th at 5 pm Pacific/8 pm Eastern. Register here and you’ll receive the replay if you can’t attend live.
Learn about these opportunities to be of service to the dying in many different capacities:
Work as a professional in hospice or palliative care (call your local hospice/palliative care program to see if you have the credentials needed and to learn about any training offered):
Become a volunteer – for those with no medical training:
Hospice volunteers are always needed (call your local hospice for more information)
Pet Therapy for Hospice Patients – if you have a special pet and would like to receive training to provide visits to patients. Learn more in this interview.
Seek out other opportunities in your community like Meals on Wheels, hospital or nursing home volunteer programs, church-related visitation programs
Become an End-of-Life Doula – check out the training mentioned above with Suzanne O’Brien and find out if this work is a good fit for you. Learn more here.
Start a caregiver training program – the need for in-home caregivers is going to increase dramatically over the next decade. Consider becoming a caregiver trainer to help your community meet this need.
Teach a death education class – there is currently a great need for education about death and dying in our society. Consider teaching your own class or workshop to provide information to others in your community. Get the Teaching Guidelines for a Death & Dying Class here.
Create a Community Event to inspire people to learn more about the end of life:
Hear my far-reaching dreams and ideas for changing the way people die in the U.S. in 2018.
In this episode I talk about some of my own personal goals for the New Year and then discuss a list of ideas for ways in which we need to improve all aspects of the end of life. Get some inspiration for steps you can take within your own community and in your own personal life to “Be Good at Death.”
I’ve started a new year-long reading group called A Year of Reading Dangerously for 2018! We’ll be exploring death and the afterlife through books that hopefully will inspire us and stretch our boundaries. Sign up to receive a monthly email with the book selection for the month and a downloadable reader’s discussion guide. Join the fun!
A HUGE thank-you to my latest supporters: Claire Turner and Dr. Leslie Robinson. Your contribution is greatly appreciated as it helps defray the costs of producing and broadcasting this podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series, but it also provides me with much-needed emotional and spiritual support! To donate as little as $1 per month go to Patreon.com/eolu.
There is a new pledge level on Patreon-the Platinum level-where for a donation of $5 per month you’ll receive replays of ALL of the End-of-Life University Interviews for 2018. So check it out now!
What we need to do to “Be Good at Death” in 2018″:
Policy Level changes needed:
Improve reimbursement for Palliative Care
Stabilize and improve reimbursement for Hospice Care
Establish a system for paying family caregivers
Medical System changes needed
Integrate Palliative Care into Primary Care and therefore …
Increase home-based palliative services
Rank hospitals according to the quality of end-of-life care provided (based on an article by Dr. Haider Warraich from Duke University). Dr. Warraich’s criteria for this ranking include:
“percentage of patients with a documented health care proxy
percentage of patients who receive heroic measures like cardiopulmonary resuscitation or cardiac defibrillation
appropriate use of hospice and palliative care
the likelihood of a family recommending the hospital for end-of-life care
whether patients’ location of death was concordant with the place in which they had wanted to die
availability of around-the-clock spiritual resources
the training the medical team receives for dealing with the medical and psychosocial issues that arise when death is imminent” ((Thank you Dr. Warraich for this fabulous idea!))
Medical Education changes needed
Train all medical providers in palliative care (at least a one-month rotation) regardless of specialty
All medical students work with dying patients in at least one rotation
Teach better conversational and listening skills to medical providers
Help medical providers process their own fears and biases toward death and their repressed grief
Learn about this documentary film project that examines the dying process through the eyes of nurses, directed by award-winning filmmaker Carolyn Jones.
In this episode I share an interview with Carolyn Jones, an amazing filmmaker who has turned her attention to the death and dying process here in the U.S. Through interviews with nurses all around the country and by following 4 patients on their end of life journeys Carolyn hopes to demystify the dying process and spur conversation about how to do it better.
Many thanks as usual to all of the supporters who have made donations at Patreon.com/eolu! I am forever grateful for your generosity. You can become a patron for just $1 or $2 per month by signing up at Patreon.com/eolu.
I’d also like to thank all the listeners who have written in over the past few months to express their gratitude for this podcast and for the EOL University Interview Series! I couldn’t do this without you showing up to listen in and join the conversation. Thank you to Susan O’Brien, Terry Lindsley, Don Dahlheimer, Karen Britton, Marzette Ellis, and Louise Kelly for your messages of support!
Today I welcome Carolyn Jones an award-winning filmmaker who has created the Dying in America Project. Her project consists of interviews with 50 hospice and palliative care nurses, and will follow the journeys of four hospice patients when it has been completed. Carolyn will share her inspiration for the project and the goals she has for the future.
In this interview you will learn:
How Carolyn’s past experiences led to this project
How Carolyn created the Dying in America videos
What can be learned from the Dying in America website
How Carolyn hopes this project will help change the way we die in this country
Carolyn Jones is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker who specializes in telling stories that shed light on issues of global concern. Her first book, Living Proof: Courage in the Face of AIDS, was published by Abbeville Press and accompanied by shows in Tokyo, Berlin, the USA, and at the United Nations World AIDS Conference. She directed a television series for Oxygen Media called Womenshands as well as Women… on Family, a program for PBS. Carolyn founded the non-profit 100 People Foundation which creates educational films and curricula for school children worldwide. She has spent the last two years interviewing nurses from all over the country for the book and documentary film: The American Nurse. For more information about Carolyn and Dying in America, visit the websites below. The Dying in America website, supported by a grant from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, is the first phase of the project, which will culminate in a feature length documentary that will seek to change the way Americans confront death.