Last Comforts” was born when one nagging question kept arising early in my journey as a hospice volunteer. Why were people coming into hospice care so late in the course of their illness? That question led to many others that rippled out beyond hospice care. Are there better alternatives to conventional skilled nursing home operations? How are physicians and nurses educated about advanced illness and end-of-life care? What are more effective ways of providing dementia care? What are the unique challenges of minority and LGBT people? What is the role of popular media in our death-denying culture? What has been the impact of public policy decisions about palliative and hospice care? The book is part memoir of lessons learned throughout my experiences with patients and families as a hospice volunteer; part spotlight on the remarkable pathfinders and innovative programs in palliative and late-life care; and part call to action. I encourage readers – particularly my fellow baby boomers -- not only to make their wishes and goals clear to friends and family, but also to become advocates for better care in the broader community.
The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.
Changing the way LGBTQ individualswith chronic or life-limiting illnesses are cared for requires a paradigm shift in the way we (collectively, as health care professionals) approach the conversation about what it means to be inclusive in our compassion. You don’t need to change your religious or moral beliefs to provide good care to LGBTQ individuals.
What does it mean to care? Let me start by saying that the word care has become a very ambivalent word. When someone says: 'I will take care of him!' it is more likely an announcement of an impending attack than of a tender compassion. And besides this ambivalence, the word is most often used in a negative way. 'Do you want coffee or tea?' 'I don't care.' 'Do you want to stay home or go to a movie?' 'I don't care.' 'Do you want to walk or go by car?' 'I don't care.' This expression of indifference toward choices in life has become commonplace. And often it seems that not to care has become more acceptable than to care, and a carefree life-style more attractive than a careful one.
Be careful when rising to the top. Be more careful when you get there. The higher you go, the riskier it gets. Be careful. Be very careful.
People lose their pleasures because they "don't care". Others misuse their treasures because they "care less". If you'll win, you must care!
When You Care, People Notice
Offering care means being a companion, not a superior. It doesn’t matter whether the person we are caring for is experiencing cancer, the flu, dementia, or grief.If you are a doctor or surgeon, your expertise and knowledge comes from a superior position. But when our role is to be providers of care, we should be there as equals.
I cared for you more that you cared yourself. Something which I regret for you didn't deserve to be cared!
By loving you more, you love the person you are caring for more.