End-of-Life, Grief/Grieving/Bereavement, Health Conditions/Diseases, Healthcare, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Important End of Life Discussions between Patient and Doctor Needed…

This is a very good article that discusses the important of physicians having the much needed discussion about end of life and dying with their patients.

“There is no “right” answer for how patients should respond to a terminal illness. It’s a deeply personal decision based on a complex array of spiritual, social, financial and emotional needs.” BUT- physician or other healthcare professionals.”

Patients who are terminal can only make these tough choices if their doctor (s) are trained and able to share bad news. Yet many doctors receive zero training on how to have these hard conversations and less than a third of primary care physicians receive instruction in end-of-life treatment.

Fortunately, some medicals schools have noticed this training gap and are evolving their curricula to fill it. Stanford’s medical school orientation now includes a discussion of the ethics of death. George Washington University Medical School offers a full course about dying.

Johns Hopkins goes a step further and actually assigns students to write instructions for their own end-of-life care, an exercise that forces them to confront the difficult decisions terminal patients face.

That to me is interesting as what better way to have a discussion about a taboo or fearful topic is to think about and write out what you would do or choose.

In my head I have had this conversation with myself many times and I think I know what I would choose if I was ever in that situation of being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Not long ago a friend and I were talking about a person who was diagnosed with breast cancer. We each had different reactions to this news and answers as what we would do regarding treatment.

For me, depending on if it was localized (1 spot) or not; meaning it had spread-I would seek the least invasive treatment. Chemo to me is a last choice and only if it has a good chance of making a difference. From what I have been exposed to both personally and professionally-chemo has a negative effect on the person with cancer and causes other health issues along with destroying all the good things about you physically. It is poison!

I would seek a healthy diet, exercise, alternative therapies to assist with symptoms and pain and would want to spend as much quality time as possible with my family and friends vs. in a hospital receiving chemo and being sick daily afterwards. Where is the quality of life in that? But this is me and my choice. Others may and have chosen differently. That is what makes us unique. This is why the medical team from the physician to the nurse to the social worker and other medical personnel need to be trained to have discussions about the disease, illness, treatment options and be prepared to talk.

And honestly, unless we are going through this ourselves-we can listen, discuss all the options, be empathic and supportive, but ultimately it should be the patient who make the decision regarding treatment or not.



End-of-Life, Healthcare, Humanity, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Life, Love…

{“Jack Davies hasn’t planned his funeral but he knows how he wants to die. When the time comes – and soon – the 53-year-old says he will succumb to the terminal cancer ravaging his organs.  He doesn’t want resuscitation or medical intervention to prolong life. He doesn’t want to be rushed to Nambour General Hospital. He just wants to lay quietly in bed, at home in Tewantin, with wife Ange by his side, singing softly into his ear which doctors say will be the last sense to go. “I know I’m going to die,” whispers Jack in a weak and breathy voice, as he sits pale and tired on his favourite couch in a dark, curtained lounge room. “I’m just happy I’ll die at home.”}

Given the choice, many would also choose this option; to die at home surrounded by those that we love and are important to us. Most do not want to be in a hopsital in an uncomfortable bed, surrounded by medical staff, listening to machines and being attached to tubes. I don’t.

Others may choose the medical environment as they do not want their loved ones to witness ‘their’ slowly deterioration and eventual death.

What would you choose if you had the choice? Home or hospital?


Source: Life, Love


via Life, Love

End-of-Life, Grief/Grieving/Bereavement, Healthcare, Humanity, News, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Self-Promotion of Journey’s End…

There is nothing like coming home and finding a box leaning against your front door and when you rip it open, there are your author copies of the book that you spent 2.5 years writing and editing!

Such joy, such elation, such happiness, such a sense of accomplishment… so, Julie and I are busy marketing and strategizing how we each will use the book as we come from different backgrounds.

As a social worker/case manager/group facilitator, I have big plans with this book that will compliment my consulting business NorthernMSW, that I just launched last month, very well.

My goal, my mission, my passion is to raise awareness about death, dying, and end of life; provide education and training to professionals, lay-people and facilitate workshops, support groups, and discussion groups on this topic. A topic most ignore, pretend does not exist, do not discuss, and do not plan for.

Why is that? Why the fear? To be born, we will die. With any luck, we live a long life, but we never know…

Julie and I collaborated on this book to begin what we term ‘inspirational’ discussions, to further cultural awareness, understanding, and acceptance.

I have stated in other posts that I am an organ donor. To me, there is no greater mitzvah than to have my organs help someone else live a longer life after I have died…. My fiancé knows this and it is on my driver’s license.

Next, comes the ‘BIG’ talk and decisions of advance care directives and mandates; especially since I am getting married next June. I have 2 kids to think about. While they have a father to look after them, in case, my life insurance, and any pensions will go to both my kids and my soon-to be-husband.

Not a very happy conversation, BUT a needed one.

So, Julie and I collaborated and created this wonderful book that has so many perspectives in it from birth to death-abortions, miscarriages, child death, spousal death, friend death, partner death, pet death, client and patient death, resource information, training information, grief and bereavement information, checklists to plan, funeral information, advance care and mandate information and a chapter on an all to taboo topic-euthanasia and assisted dying, but it is a presentation of the facts and what exists around the world, along with quotes and more…..there is no other book like it on the shelves of any book store or library because I always look. An all in one book!

No matter how many times I read this book I am in awe of the contributions, the stories shared and yes, sometimes I tear up and other times I laugh….that is what life is about!

It is available on Xlibris, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble.  We are very proud of this book and owe a HUGE thank you to all who contributed as we would not have the book we have if not for all of the contributor’s perspectives.

So, from the bottom of our hearts, you have our gratitude and sincere appreciation!

The contributors are:

Elaine Mansfield

Evelyne Banks

Cheryl Jones

Jean Bota

Jordon Grumet, MD

Linda Darrah Reynolds

Jan Larsen-Fendt, RN, BSN

Carol Brannan Marimpietri

Sue Rumack (Canada)

Anonymous x 2 (1 Canada & 1 USA)

Maria Kubitz

John Brooks

Elizabeth Gillman, RN, BSN

Victoria Hargis

Pamela Christie

Sherokee Ilse

Keith Branson, MA

Patty Burgess

Mark Darrah

Virginia L. Seno, PhD

David Laliberte, AEMCA, PCP (Canada)

Karen Wyatt, MD

Karen Smith, PhD

Major Lynn Jones, Retired

Yosef Ben Avraham Yaacov

Rea L. Ginsberg, LCSW-C, ACSW, BCD

Anne Lastman, BA, MA, MTS

Rabbi Michael Wolff (Canada)

Salima Pirani

Robert S. Ball, MSN, RN

James C. Salwitz, MD

Claire Willis, LICSW

Andrew Thurston, MD

Barbara Bates Sedoric

Blair Botsford (Canada)

Donald M. Burrows

Eleanor Silverberg (Canada)

Robin Gordon Taft

Steve Byrne

Jeff Haberson

Cassandra Yonder (Canada)

Heather Taylor, RN (Canada)

Vicki M. Taylor

Sheryl Beller-Kenner, EdD (Canada)

Lee Witting

John Shuster, MD

Karen Wyatt, MD

Cynthia Cooper, RN

Sheryl J. Nicholson

Marcy Rosen Bernstein, LMSW

Gabriel Heras La Calle, MD (Spain)

Guillermo Godoy, MD

Sheryl Beller-Kenner, EdD

James Salwitz, MD

Along with various perspectives from both Julie Saeger Nierenberg (Canada)

and myself; Victoria Brewster (Canada)

Aging/Gerontology, Education, End-of-Life, Grief/Grieving/Bereavement, Health Conditions/Diseases, Healthcare, Humanity, ICU, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Raising Awareness for the Topics of Death, Dying, and End of Life…

So to compliment my role as a case manager and group facilitator with older adults, I have a mission and purpose in the areas of death and dying.

Not a topic most want to think about or even contemplate, but in order to be born, we will die one day.

For many, death and dying seems years away and for some, they do not fear death and it could come tomorrow.

An idea I came up with is to raise awareness for the topics of death, dying, and end of life and a way to combines all my interests: create a race that combines walkers, runners/joggers, and cyclers. I am a cycler and once April is here, cycle right through October…walkers could even bring their dogs!

Thoughts? Participants would pay a fee or raise money to be used specifically for the goal of raising awareness about death and dying.

What does that mean? Resource information, training materials, books, checklists and the sharing of ideas along with education on the topic for professionals, students, older adults, families, caregivers, etc.

Julie and I just published a book on this very topic and we know there are many out there like us who support this topic.

Journey’s End” Death, Dying and the End of Life“, a book that has many perspectives in it from both lay people and professionals.

We attempt to describe real life issues and circumstances, and we discuss ways to proactively deal with them. Useful training, resource, and reference material are also included. Death, dying, and end of life are topics many prefer to avoid. This book suggests that we benefit from having frank discussions, living life to the fullest, and planning for our own journey’s end, whenever that may be. Everyone who is born eventually will die, whether or not we want to embrace that fact.

Though few of us know when we will die, we and our family or friends can be well prepared. We can have discussions and create written directives for what we want if we are unable to verbally state them ourselves. Do we want life support? Do we want interventions that may or may not have any benefit to our quality of life if we are in the hospital or in an accident? Do we want to be involved in planning our funeral, memorial, or celebration of life?

The submissions within are from professionals in the field of death and bereavement support and from laypeople, all of whom share stories of dying family members, friends, clients, and patients. Julie and I, the coauthors of this book, also share stories from our personal and professional experiences.

‘Journey’s End’ is a broadly comprehensive book about death, dying, and the end of life.

If interested in participating or you have ideas about how to organize such an event, please contact me: northernmsw@gmail.com

I am thinking next summer to give time for participants to train, but the goal is not a race, but awareness raising oriented.

Buy This Book

Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
Price: $23.99
Dust Jacket Hardcover(B/W)
Price: $34.99


Aging/Gerontology, Health Conditions/Diseases, Healthcare, Humanity, News, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Rapid assessment and frailty — British Geriatrics Society

This is awesome news and more hospitals should do this! Care beds for older adults and rapid assessment and treatment. Thoughts?


Beverley Marriott is a Advanced nurse practitioner working in the Birmingham community healthcare foundation trust. She is also a King’s College Older Person Fellow. There continues to be a growing emphasis on older people and emergency hospital admissions, with Frailty often used as a ‘wrap’ around term for ‘older people’. Older people with multiple complex […]

via Rapid assessment and frailty — British Geriatrics Society

Aging/Gerontology, End-of-Life, Grief/Grieving/Bereavement, Health Conditions/Diseases, Healthcare, Humanity, ICU, News, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

‘Journey’s End’ is Available!

Julie and I are very excited to announce that our book is available on the Xlibris website at: www.xlibris.com.

Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life; 2.5 years in the making is finally available. Thank you to all who contributed to our book. We never could have done it without you…

The book is also on goodreadsamazon.com, amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble.

Aging/Gerontology, Healthcare, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Autumn Speakers Series: What is geriatric rehabilitation? Towards a unifying concept — British Geriatrics Society

Definitely worth a read, and definitely needed! More Geriatricians-physicians and other professionals that specialize in working with, caring for and assisting older adults…..


Romke van Balen is an Elderly Care Physician in Rotterdam and Senior Researcher in Leiden. His main field of interest is geriatric rehabilitation. He will be speaking at the upcoming BGS Autumn Meeting in London. Although geriatric rehabilitation in most countries is considered to belong to the core tasks of geriatricians, there is no consensus about definition and […]

via Autumn Speakers Series: What is geriatric rehabilitation? Towards a unifying concept — British Geriatrics Society