Family History

I could not resist posting the photo of my great grandmother. “Granny” a.k.a. Katherine MacDonnell lived until she was nearly 102 years old. She was feisty, determined and wonderful. As a teenager I cared for her while I worked in a small “rest home” caring for six other elderly persons. I prepared meals, made beds, did laundry and provided a bit of personal care. How I loved to bathe her wrinkled skin and help her get in and out of the bath tub. I enjoyed her talking about the “old folks” who lived there… all of them at least a decade younger than her.

Unfortunately I was not with her when she died. I continue to dream about her from time to time, and even if only in my dreams, I cherish her.



Over the past few years I have been developing a presentation titled “Unprecedented! We have never died like this!” This is about the changes in the way many of us are dying (by chronic illness), the challenges of death by chronic illness (e.g. difficulty in prognosticating), the declining number of caregivers, and the coming of the Baby Boomers! Today I read an article with global numbers citing this problem:

“According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), we are aging – not just as individuals or communities but also as a world. In 2006, almost 500 million people worldwide were 65 and older. By 2030, that total is projected to increase to 1 billion – one in every eight of the earth’s inhabitants. Significantly, the most rapid increases in the 65-and-older population are occurring in developing countries, which will see a jump of 140 percent by 2030. For the first time in history, people age 65 and over will outnumber children under age 5. ….” Retrieved: July 2, 2009 Aging Population Growth Spotlights Training Needs of Health and Mental Health Professionals. Dr. L. Christie.

The author, Dr. Leo Christie supports the idea that the challenges to individuals, families and caregivers are unprecedented.

Life and Death Matters, the workshops, resources, online education program, and website are developing in response to these needs – “Educating today’s learner to care for tomorrows dying”

It is my hope that this blog will link diverse caregivers with ideas, resources, references to support them in providing excellent care for the dying.

Have a great day,


To view reference:
Aging Population Growth Spotlights Training Needs of Health and Mental Health Professionals
Leo Christie, PhD, CEO
Professional Development Resources, Inc.

Collaborative Bloggappeal

As a scientist, writer and educator, I am working to find ways to encourage Forum posts and comments that go past the pithy- ‘nice work dudette!’ and biTe into the meat of the topic.
How to get the lurkers out and commenting?
I am constantly surprised that in this seemingly anonymous environment that so many choose to remain…well,..completely anonymous.

I have chosen to enter (albeit late) the 31 Day Comment Challenge and engage in blogging with this community of seemingly seasoned bloggers (be gentle – Ima newbie!) to see what fine morsels I can glean from the postings and exercises.

Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s off to the comment challenge I go!