- Find meaning when caring for the dying – David Irvine, author of “Caring is Everything”, spoke about providing care and supporting his brother Hal, a beloved family physician, from diagnosis through to death. His book contains exquisite reflections, compassionate tributes, and insightful learning about the importance of finding meaning while providing care.
David has spent much of his career in coaching corporate leaders. We are fortunate that his focus is shifting, and he is now looking at the needs of people in the health care field, and how we might be reminded and supported to provide better care while also addressing our own needs.
- Rekindling your spark – Patricia Katz spoke about Mid-Life Malaise. She identified the challenge that many of us feel at times, when all may be well, but we are just not “feeling it.” Patricia reminded us through the activities and presentation, that it is possible create a spark that fans your fires. She divided us into pairs and, using a creative interview process, helped us explore our past and the present. Second, using guided imagery, Patricia helped us look to the future to identify what we might do to rekindle the spark in our own lives. In all, each of us was able to find a spark and learned how to dig for that spark when we needed it.
- Importance of connections and hugs in a legacy – Elizabeth Dougherty shared her reflections, quotes, stories, and an expressive arts project that expands on her concept of the importance of connection, hugs and legacy. Using only a bed sheet, markers and scissors, she created a “hug” that the dying person and family can treasure. She reminded us that tools don’t have to be complicated, technical or expensive. Interested in learning how to create a “hug” Check out this similar presentation on her website.
- “MAiD – Is this a part of hospice palliative care?” Dr. Andrew Mai from Hospice Care Ottawa addressed this topic eloquently. He offered interesting points, shared a few difficult case studies, and then divided us into pairs to debate the reasons for and against providing MAiD within a hospice. There weren’t any easy answers. But maybe that wasn’t the point. It was affirming to experience a controversial and often discordant discussion within this group, without hostility or rancor appearing.
- Supporting children whose loved one is dying – Megan Sloan and Katt Brooks, (Roger Neilson House, a hospice for kids in Ottawa), and I presented, “Games, Cookies and Creativity in Addressing the Need of Kids while Caring for Adults.”
If you are one of the many people who feel less than comfortable in addressing the needs of children while caring for an adult, we created a short follow-up video that may help you with your discomfort. (In Life and Death Matters Facebook, this video was posted on April 23rd).
National Advance Care Planning Day/National Healthcare Decisions Day are on April 16
We’re curious about what types of plans have been made for April 16th – National Advance Care Planning Day / National Healthcare Decisions Day. Leave us a comment to tell us what is (or isn’t) happening in your area.
You’re not alone if plans have not yet been made. And it’s not too late to get involved. Anyone can participate in small and big ways – there’s something for everyone. You can begin by helping spread the word!
Resources in Canada
- Take a minute to help spread the word by adding your voice to the @Thunderclapit campaign.
- Help organize activities for your location or community, using the Advance Care Planning Kit or the resources available for the provinces and territories
Resources in the United States
In the US, there are resources available for National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16. In fact, this will be a week-long campaign, from April 16 to April 22, to help people understand the value of advance healthcare planning.
Guest post by Deanna Cochran
All over the world, people are coming forward who want to accompany and guide others through the end of life. Some of these people are in traditional roles of nurse, physician, chaplain, etc. working through hospices and hospitals. However, there is a phenomenon happening now; people with the calling to serve others at the end of life who are creating innovative services that bridge present health and death care. We are known as an End-of-life Guide or death doula. We are developing private practices that bring forth our unique gifts. I am honored to work with these pioneers today and for the past several years.
Are you attending any of these upcoming hospice, palliative, end of life care conferences?
This is our schedule.
Let’s meet up and talk!
February 22-24, 2017
Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa
44400 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells (Palm Springs), California USA
Visit us at the exhibit booth.
Take home a bag of “Care Planning Cookies” to your school
February 23-25, 2017
Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ
We are attending February 24-25 and are so looking forward to meeting our American hospice and palliative care colleagues. We won’t have a booth as we are just able to attend the last few days. Contact me to meet for a cuppa!