Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Palliative Sedation for the Terminally Ill

Saturday’s edition of the New York Times carried a lengthy article describing the practice of palliative sedation, whereby strong sedative medications were used to provide comfort and relief to dying patients whose pain and suffering did not respond to standard interventions. Entitled Hard Choice for a Comfortable Death: Sedation, the article has generated several hundred reader comments.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) offers its Response to NY Times Article of 12/26/09.

Pallimed founder and palliative care physician Drew Rosielle, MD shares his reactions to the article here: NYT on Palliative Sedation.

To learn more about this experience from the perspective of a certified hospice and palliative care nurse who has “seen palliative sedation work wonders,” read Angela Morrow’s blog post: Palliative Care Blog.

See also Some Observations in Response to NY Times Article on Palliative Sedation, by Judy Schwartz, PhD, RN, regional clinical coordinator at Compassion and Choices, a nonprofit end-of-life advocacy and consultative organization.

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below.
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© by Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT, DCC

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Centering Corporation: A Non-Profit Grief Resource Center

Centering Corporation is an outstanding family-operated, non-profit bereavement resource center offering a vast assortment of materials covering topics from general grief, miscarriage, infant loss, loss of a family member, caring for the terminally ill, caring for and being with the bereaved, pet loss, divorce and much more. To order or to learn more about available resources, or to request a free catalog, visit the Centering Corporation Web site at http://www.centering.org/.

Continuing Education Offerings Online

Myths and Facts about Advance Care Planning: Dispelling the "Death Panels" Claim, with Jim Werth Jr, PhD, Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST (11:00 am - 12:30 pm MST)
Learn more about ADEC Webinars here

Bereavement Camps for Kids: Benefits and Challenges, with Kenneth Doka, PhD, Sherry Schachter, Angela Hamblen and Bonnie Carroll, Monday, February 1, 2010, 1:00 – 2:30 pm EST (11:00 am - 12:30 pm MST)
Learn more about HFA Webinars here

Grief After Suicide: How Does Suicide Change the Grieving Process? with John R. Jordan, PhD, FT, Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST (11:00 am - 12:30 pm MST)

Dying in the Contemporary U.S. - How Modern Medicine Impacts the Dying Experience, with Clint Moore, MDiv, PhD, FT, Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 1:00 - 2:30 pm EDT (10:00 - 11:30 am PDT)

Cultural Perspectives on Dying, Death and Grief, with Paul Rosenblatt, PhD, Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT (10:00 - 11:30 am PDT)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

American Widow Project

The American Widow Project is a non-profit organization “dedicated to the new generation of those who have lost the heroes of yesterday, today and tomorrow, with an emphasis on healing through sharing stories, tears and laughter – Military Widow to Military Widow.”

The site offers a multitude of resources to help with the lifetime of struggles that come along with being a military widow – including a free DVD describing the stories of six military widows (available by request and at no cost), a newsletter, a helpline (1-877-AWP WIDOW) and other events.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Christmas Wish for You and Those You Love

Every time a hand reaches out
to help another ~
that is Christmas.
Every time someone puts anger aside
and strives for understanding ~
that is Christmas.
Every time people
forget their differences
and realize their love for each other ~
that is Christmas.
May you know
the spirit of Christmas
which is Peace ~
the soul of Christmas
which is Hope ~
and the heart of Christmas
which is Love ~



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness: Pink Glove Dance

Employees at Providence St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Portland, Oregon put together this video to generate breast cancer awareness throughout their hospital system, in hopes of inspiring others to join in the cause. It features 200 doctors, nurses, lab technicians, kitchen and janitorial staff dancing. They’re all wearing pink hospital gloves made by Medline Industries in Illinois. A portion of the sales from the pink hospital gloves will be used to provide mammograms for uninsured women. The video has been viewed by nearly 5.5 million people:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pet Peace of Mind

Delana Taylor McNac is a hospice chaplain, former practicing veterinarian and creator of the Pet Peace of Mind Program, designed to assist hospice patients who are unable to maintain appropriate routine health care and nutrition for their animal companions due to medical expenses or caregiver disability. The program originated at Hospice of Green Country in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Delana served as Spiritual Director for four years. Delana is currently the Program Manager for Pet Peace of Mind with Banfield Charitable Trust , helping hospices all over the country implement the program for their patients and pets.

In her blog, Important Update about Pet Peace of Mind,  Delana writes, “For those of you who have had the chance to talk with me about the program, you already know that it's been my vision to help as many pets and patients as possible and I count it a privilege to be involved in the program as it continues to grow. I will work from home, here in Tulsa, using technology to train and support new programs. I will also travel periodically to Portland, Oregon to the BCT headquarters and probably to other places as things unfold. That means I will continue to work with Hospice of Green Country as I support the program here and the local pet/rescue organizations as well. Am I blessed or what!! This is a wonderful opportunity and I am very excited to share it with you today. Stay tuned!”

Friday, December 4, 2009

Positive Psychology to Combat PTSD?

In her usual direct and forthright manner, psychotherapist and guided imagery expert Belleruth Naparstek seriously questions the decision of the Department of Defense to introduce Positive Psychology to our active military in Iraq and Afghanistan, in hopes of reducing the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In a recent Huffington Post article, she argues persuasively for more effective, less expensive approaches.  “Positive psychology may be worthwhile for corporate team building and personal growth," she writes, "but does it have the mojo to counter the profound despair and disorientation that comes from the horrors of combat?” See More Troops, More Rotations, More PTSD: Will Positive Psychology Save Our Soldiers?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grief Songs: Music for the Grieving Heart

Image Source
When we are struggling with grief, music is a wonderful tool that can lift us up, take us out of our current mood, and transport us to another time and place.

When we cannot find the words, a particular song may express our thoughts and feelings even better than we are able to do.

With lyrics or without, music can be used as an escape or a respite from our pain, or as a form of relaxation or meditation while we confront our sorrow.

Music helps us to remember the one who died, and it can help to bring a sense of balance, peace and harmony back into our lives, even if only for a moment.

Based on recommendations from members of our own Grief Healing Discussion Groups (see Music That Soothes Me), this article links visitors to a number of beautiful songs whose lyrics have touched them in some meaningful way: Using Music to Help with Grief. Readers are invited to add to our list by posting a comment of their own.

See also Grief Healing's Pinterest board, Music for a Grieving Heart.

Your feedback is welcome ~ please leave a comment!
If you’d like Grief Healing Blog updates delivered right to your inbox, you’re cordially invited to subscribe to our weekly Grief Healing Newsletter.
 Sign up here.

Related:
  • Alive Inside ~ "a joyous cinematic exploration of music's capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music."
© by Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT, DCC

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