Monday, October 31, 2011

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, November 2011

By proclaiming November 2011 as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization encourages every American to increase our understanding and awareness of care at the end of life and to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs.

Most of us have heard about hospice care.  We know that hospices care for people at the end of life. Many of us know a family or friend who was helped by hospice when faced with the serious illness and death of a loved one.  But there is so much more to know.

For example, did you know that hospice provides what the majority of Americans say they want at the end of life ~ excellent pain management, comfort, and support for the patient and family caregivers?

Here are ten more things you should know about hospice:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Caregiving and Hospice, October 23 - October 29, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 23 - October 29, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss, October 23 - October 29, 2011

Best selection from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
  • Mourning the loss of Bella the Dog, dear companion to elephant Tarra,  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Voices of Experience: The Pie Dish

It is the miracle of memory that transforms a houseful of stuff into a heritage of love and connection. ~ Emily Barnes, in Timeless Treasures: The Charm and Romance of Treasured Memories

Of her beloved grandmother who died earlier this year, the author of this lovely piece* writes, "My Grandma raised me, so she was more like my mom. She was my best friend ~ my biggest supporter ~ the only person I have ever felt would love me no matter what."

It is amazing how small things can take you back to the one you love. The way the sun streams in the window, a smell, a sound . . . little things.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Caregiving and Hospice, October 16 - October 22, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 16 - October 22, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
  • Book, Alone - For All Those Who Grieve by W. F. (Bill) Cento - Beautiful, touching, uplifting  via
  • Practical, helpful suggestions for Healing After Trauma: Open to Hope interview with Ed Tick,

Coping with Pet Loss, October 16 - October 22, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finding Support for Pet Loss

If you are mourning the loss of a cherished pet, you may have some of the same questions and share some of the same concerns I often hear from other bereaved animal lovers:

How do I know when it is time to actually get some counseling for grief from loss of a pet?  Sometimes we wish that others would just be there for us without our having to ask. Unfortunately, when it comes to loss of a beloved animal companion, that’s not likely to happen. It’s not so much that others are cold and uncaring. If they’re not animal lovers and they’ve never had pets, or if they’ve never allowed themselves to become attached to animals as companions, there simply is no way for them to fully understand the attachment we had to the one who died, the significance of our loss and the depth of our pain.  They may unintentionally minimize our loss or, not wanting to see us hurt, discourage us from expressing our grief.  Sometimes the insensitivity of others can be even more painful for us than grief from the actual loss.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Caregiving and Hospice, October 9 - October 15, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 9 - October 15, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
  • Psychic Medium John Edward spends an hour with Anderson Cooper on Monday, October 17,
  • Light Up A Life: Hospice of the Valley's annual remembrance event, November 11, 20/11,

Coping with Pet Loss, October 9 - October 15, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Helping a Grieving Parent

A reader writes - My mom died six months ago after a long battle with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Knowing that she had a terminal illness and that she was in the end stages of this disease, our family agreed to take her off life supports. I thought I had this all figured out, her dying. I thought I was prepared for that day. Boy what a shock to myself. This has been the worst thing that I have been through. I miss my mom so much that I feel physically ill. I don't think you ever really get over it, just need to figure out how to live with it. Now I am very worried about my dad. He has shut down. He drinks too much. He sits on the couch watching TV. He says he has no ambition to do anything. He misses her badly and is very lonely. My adult children do not visit him because they don't know how to handle him. So I call everyday and visit, have him over two or three times a week for supper. I don't know how to help him start living again.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 2 - October 8, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Caregiving and Hospice, October 2 - October 8, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss, October 2 - October 8, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
  • Spirits In Transition weekend seminar on end-of-life care for animals, Dec 2-4, 2011,
  • Grieving The Loss Of Your Special Pet? Attending a pet loss support group can help,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

End-of-Life Care for Animals

Ella Bittel and Momo
All we animal lovers ever want is to do the best for our animal. When it comes to dying, what is best can be more complex than euthanizing. There is a way to come to peace with the dying process and discover its life enriching value. Animals can teach us about this if we let them. ~ Ella Bittel, Holistic Veterinarian

Coping with the terminal illness of a cherished animal companion presents the same challenges to an animal lover as would anticipating of the death any other family member. Today hospice and palliative care for human beings provides a much needed service to the dying and to those who care for them, but finding such support for a beloved animal close to the end of life can be more difficult.

Reflecting a growing trend toward allowing companion animals a natural death at home, the concept of providing hospice and palliative care for our four-legged friends is similar to that offered for people. The focus is the same: on providing safety and comfort care in loving, familiar surroundings, rather than on aggressive treatment and cure in a hospital setting. Animal hospice is based on a belief that, with proper preparation and guidance for everyone involved, symptoms can be managed, pain can be controlled, and death can be experienced with dignity and compassion. In this way, pet hospice can be an effective alternative to euthanasia.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 25 - October 1, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Caregiving and Hospice, September 25 - October 1, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss, September 25 - October 1, 2011

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
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