End-of-Life, Health Conditions/Diseases, Social Work/Helping Profession/Mental Health

Game for End of Life Planning…

Questions game for end of life planning, what a great idea! It gets conversations started. It gets people thinking! The game is called, “Hello.”

This was an article I came across on LinkedIn. I was pleased to see it as this is my passion; helping people, assisting people and the topics of death and dying are not the typical discussion one wants to begin, BUT it needs to happen.

To be born, we must die. It is part of the life cycle and yes we all hope we live to a ripe, older age, but we never know.

Further information for this upcoming game can be found on the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management site.

I am very glad to read that researchers are focusing on this topic and coming up with creative ways to get people to talk. “Before you create an advance directive, you need to think about your values and beliefs, think about your trade offs, and talk with your family and doctors,” states Lauren J. Van Scoy, assistant professor of medicine and humanities in the Penn State College of Medicine.

The researchers found that three months after playing the game, 75 percent of participants had gone on to complete some form of advance care planning. The study is the most recent of several that have looked at whether playing the game, called “Hello,” can encourage people to begin advance care planning, a process that Van Scoy says is ongoing and can and should take months to complete. The researchers found that in the three months after playing the game, 75 percent of participants had done some form of advance care planning and 44 percent had completed advance directives. Advance care planning is a process that you visit throughout your life, and you should be continually evaluating what’s important to you, and what your priorities are.

 

I am looking forward to the game as I could use it with clients. Other games and cards exist, but I have yet to come across one that asks all the questions, really gets people thinking about ‘what if.’

 

 

 

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

How Does One Offer Condolences?

 

This is a very informative article on offering condolences. Quite often people do not know what to say, what to write, what to do. I like the suggestion of sharing memories. If you know the person who died well enough; I am sure you can think of a good memory to share.

‘Remove yourself from the conversation’ is also a very good suggestion. When someone is grieving they do not want to hear about you and your loss, they want to talk about their family, friend, pet who died; again catch yourself and share a memory instead.

Another article- Why Not to Say ‘How Can I Help?’ to the Grief-Ridden
Don’t ask the bereaved what you can do — just do something by Jill Smolowe.

Also a very good article with great advice and suggestions, do vs. asking. Quite often the bereaved cannot answer that question. Bring food, pick up the kids, take the dog out, go grocery shopping, clean, do the laundry……. DO vs. Asking what to do.

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

Death Doula? What is This?

Have you wondered about these terms? Death Doula, End of Life Doula? Death Midwife? End of Life Specialist? If you have-do the words frighten you? Scare you? Make you pause and wonder?

You realize that death is part of life, right? To be born we must die. Death is part of the life cycle.

Does death frighten you? Do you fear death? Are you scared of death? If you are-why?

Life your life full of richness, joy, happiness, with meaning, and share with the ones you care about and love, spend time with them, phone them, write them, text them….let them know how you feel. Do not have regrets. Find a job or profession that you love or are passionate about. Take up hobbies, exercise, eat healthy, develop good relationships, volunteer, give back whether through time, money, ideas….be a part of society.

The link within will explain what a death doula is, how the term came about, what it entails. Remember birth comes first and their are doulas and midwives for this, so why not for death-the end of the life cycle.

If you were dying or a friend was dying would you want them to have someone to talk to? To be with them? To offer comfort? To help organize the things that need to be put in place like wills, funeral arrangements, a celebration of life ceremony before they die? How about someone to assist the caregivers-offer support and guidance? Do not see the terms of death doula, death midwife or End of Life Doula as negative or fearful?

The individuals that fulfill these roles are compassionate, caring, empathic, and special because not everyone can do it. It is just like being a nurse, a doctor, a social worker, a teacher. Special roles that not everyone is up to the task to fulfill.

“End-of-life doulas provide non-medical, holistic support and comfort to the dying person and their family, which may include education and guidance as well as emotional, spiritual or practical care.”
-End of Life Doula Network

Most end of life doulas are non-licensed and non-medical. But there are many who are starting with a foundation as chaplains, nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, life coaches, reiki practitioners, psychicians, shamans, and therapists, among other professionals. Or, they may be adding an end of life component to their present practice.

What an end of life doula ‘does’ really depends on what skill set the doula has and what they want to focus upon now.
Our common, basic offering is this: emotional and spiritual companioning, with some practical support as well. You may also find an end of life doula who offers caregiving and practical house/errand/cooking services or cooking and meal prep. You may find an end of life doula who specializes in advance directives and advance care planning, funeral planning, memorial planning, medical assistance, and legal assistance. There are others whose main focus is using ceremony and ritual to help you transition and cope with the loss that is coming, as well as afterwards. There are end of life doulas who are therapists and only focus on end of life issues and companioning others through that time. There are home funeral guides, bedside singers, and end of life doulas whose focus is on helping the family with legacy tributes.

I am hoping that after reading all this you realize the positives of the terms, Death Doula, End of Life Doula, Death Midwife, End of Life Specialist,  and see the benefits of individuals who have sought training, are receiving training in this area.

http://www.qualityoflifecare.com/blog/doulasfor-the-dying

My training is taking place with another individual and company, Patty Burgess of Possibility, Doing Death Differently.

Patty  has years of experience and her credentials are below:

-President of Possibility, Doing Death Differently
-Certified End-of-Life Specialist (CEOLS)
-End-of-Life Doula/DoulaPro
-Hospice Volunteer
-Certified Grief Recovery Specialist
-End-of-Life Educator, Speaker/Trainer
-Former Hospice Community Educator/Patient Liasion

http://doingdeathdifferently.com/

One should choose the program or training of the individual that they resonate with and a program that fits in with your work and life style-in-person, online, weekend workshops, etc.

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

‘Nobody wants to talk about death:’ Patients’ stories inspire play about palliative care – Entertainment – CBC News — Loss, Grief, Bereavement and Life Transitions Resource Library

Thank you as always Sue Rosenbloom.  🙂

Death is not easy and a diagnosis of, “You are dying” is not easy, but it is reality for some.

What would you do with the time you have left? Would you say goodbye to special people in your life? Would you visit special places you always wanted to see? Do you have things you want to finish before you die?

A play about death is awesome! It makes one think. It makes one realize that life is not permanent.

 

Source: ‘Nobody wants to talk about death:’ Patients’ stories inspire play about palliative care – Entertainment – CBC News

via ‘Nobody wants to talk about death:’ Patients’ stories inspire play about palliative care – Entertainment – CBC News — Loss, Grief, Bereavement and Life Transitions Resource Library

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

Survivor’s Guilt? In short, this was all my fault – Still Standing Magazine — Loss, Grief, Bereavement and Life Transitions Resource Library

The utter heartbreak of delivering a stillborn, a baby who is premature-IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!  When a baby does not make it to fruition, it is in the cards that it be so. One born with complications…think about it.

I had two miscarriages and I get it. I delivered one at home so I know the pain, I know the sorrow…

But, as I had one child already I knew I could do it. My timing was not right, my body was not ready. My first took over two years to sleep through the night so I was sleep deprived. My body, my mind was tired…

I focused on me. I did therapeutic massage therapy, acupuncture, took herbal supplements to get my strength back. I spent time with family and friends and eventually a 2nd was born.

Do not give up hope and realize sometimes the universe has a different plan.

 

 

Source: In short, this was all my fault – Still Standing Magazine

via Survivor’s Guilt? In short, this was all my fault – Still Standing Magazine — Loss, Grief, Bereavement and Life Transitions Resource Library

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

Shared via Rea L. Ginsberg – The Holocaust: Bereavement takes a different course — Loss, Grief, Bereavement and Life Transitions Resource Library

As a professional who has worked with Holocaust Survivors for almost 18 years as a group facilitator and case manager, I can easily say their grief is different and life lasting. Imagine suffering as they did and losing entire families, being the only survivor out of 10, 30, 60 people when you think of extended family members. Imagine returning to your town, city or country after the war and almost every Jew is gone?

This is definitely an article worth reading!

 

Source: The Holocaust: Bereavement takes a different course

via Shared via Rea L. Ginsberg – The Holocaust: Bereavement takes a different course — Loss, Grief, Bereavement and Life Transitions Resource Library

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

Shared via C. Elizabeth Dougherty – Why we should all stop saying “I know exactly how you feel” – ideas.ted.com — Loss, Grief, Bereavement and Life Transitions Resource Library

We may have all experienced death and loss, but we can never know exactly how another feels. Each person experiences death, dying, grief, bereavement and loss in their own unique way… be careful with that  expression, “I know exactly how you feel.”

 

Source: Why we should all stop saying “I know exactly how you feel” – ideas.ted.com

via Shared via C. Elizabeth Dougherty – Why we should all stop saying “I know exactly how you feel” – ideas.ted.com — Loss, Grief, Bereavement and Life Transitions Resource Library