Bridging the apparent gap between the Hospice and the Gerontology worlds

Bridging the apparent gap between the Hospice and the Gerontology worlds

Life & Death Matters Post

Good morning!

I received an email this morning from a dear colleague from Hood College whose goal is to help bridge the apparent gap between the hospice palliative care world and the gerontology world.
Kim asked for the names of a few articles, a few leaders who have helped to develop my understanding of gerontology, as a hospice palliative care nurse.

Mercedes Bern Klug, wrote an article titled “The Ambiguous Dying Syndrome”. Published in the Journal of Social Work in 2004, Mercedes does an incredible job of addressing the challenge of dying with chronic illness over a long, unknown period of time.

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D wrote a paper Alzheimers Association titled, “End-of-life Care for People with Dementia in Residential Care Settings” which is the most thorough article on the topic that I have seen. His references will lead you to many other articles.

A few of my favorite books:

Joanne Lynn wrote a great book on dying with chronic illness, titled: “Sick to Death and Not Going to Take is Anymore!: Reforming Health Care for the Last Years of Life.” Her stats are American based, but reflect Canadian trends regarding dying with chronic illness, unknowns, etc..

There are a few good texts on Palliative Care and Dementia, including one by Volicer and Hurley, another by Morrison and Meier.

The Hospice Foundation of America has a series of books, with a new book published each year. They have a few books that address the topic of losses associated with aging, and dying with dementia.

I posted an entry to facebook on this topic today. Please feel free to add your favorites to this list!


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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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