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The Fading Memories podcast is a great resource for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers. Host Jennifer Fink provides information, inspiration, and even some giggles. According to the Fading Memories podcast website, Jennifer interviews people who have some of the answers and families currently on this journey. The website features links to the podc…
 
Our guest today is Dave Kerpen - serial entrepreneur, NY Times best-selling author, and founder of Remembering.Live. When Dave lost his mom during the pandemic lockdown of 2020, Dave and his team created a virtual memorial service and memorial website to honor her memory. Through the Remembering.Live website, families can honor their loved ones wit…
 
Remembering a loved one with a memorial tattoo is a unique way of creating meaning out of loss. Memorial tattoos, also known remembrance tattoos, can be a meaningful part of a grief journey. Many people who’ve experienced the loss of a loved one get tattoos in memory of someone special, a friend or loved one, or even a pet. Sometimes it’s a name, s…
 
In episode 3 of our series in honor of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, we’re sharing what we think hospice will look like in the future, along with our wishes for end of life care. The large Baby Boomer population is going to require skilled clinicians, and a lot of them! The use of telehealth has become a valuable tool for hospice team…
 
Episode 097 - The A2Z HealingToolbox for Those Who Grieve (Mon. 11-15-2021) Susan Hannifin-MacNab is the creator of the A to Z Healing Toolbox, a great resource for navigating grief and trauma with practical tools and resources. Susan became a widow when her husband was killed in a car accident, leaving her with a young son. Using the wisdom she ga…
 
In part 2 of our series in celebration of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, we’re discussing current trends in hospice in the U.S. Hospice has changed through the years. While we still take care of cancer patients, we also see patients at end of life with other diagnoses - cardiac, dementia, respiratory, stroke, and kidney (renal) conditi…
 
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month! We’re talking about the history of hospice, including medieval hospice houses, Dame Cicely Saunders, Florence Wald, and the modern hospice movement. The rich history of hospice began in medieval times as monks and nuns of the religious orders of the time created hospice houses where travelers …
 
We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Jessica Zitter back to the podcast to talk about her new documentary “Caregiver: A Love Story”. As a critical care and palliative care physician, Dr. Zitter has seen the true struggles of caregivers of loved ones with serious illness. Dr. Zitter is also the author of Extreme Measures: Finding A Better Path to the End …
 
We’re sharing our top 10 tips for the over 53 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S.! Caregiving is a hard job. It takes patience, energy, self-awareness, and endurance. We’ve been personal caregivers for family members and friends on hospice, in addition to our work as end of life professionals. To help our caregiving colleagues, we’ve put together…
 
Patients with serious illness frequently need pain management. How do hospice teams manage opioids and the challenges that come with them? There’s often a lack of understanding about how pain medications are used in end of life care. When a patient’s pain is managed, his quality of life is better. Hospice physicians and nurses are responsible for e…
 
Funeralocity is a great resource for both consumers and hospice professionals when it comes to funeral planning. Funeralocity provides information to help users compare up-to-date pricing and services from funeral homes and cremation providers in their area, get pricing and services for funeral homes enrolled in the Excellence Provider Program, and…
 
It’s a hospice patient’s right to choose how medications are managed. Deprescribing (simplifying or reducing) meds can be a huge benefit to both patient and caregiver. There’s a myth that all the medications will be stopped when a seriously ill patient is admitted to hospice services. Not true!! Medications for hospice patients are reviewed by the …
 
Founder Kevin Long and the team at Give A Mile help to connect loved ones when they need it most. After experiencing the loss of his close friend Ryan, Kevin launched Give A Mile. According to the Give A Mile website, “Give A Mile is a group of dedicated volunteers who believe strongly in the power of visits from loved ones for people in palliative…
 
Hospice interdisciplinary teams provide the best care possible for seriously ill people, no matter where they call home. Whether it’s a long term care facility (nursing home), assisted living facility, private residence or apartment, halfway house, a homeless shelter, or on the streets, end of life care professionals try to meet the needs of the pa…
 
Utilizing every discipline on the hospice interdisciplinary team helps to ensure the best outcomes and quality of care. Here 's why. Each member of a hospice team brings unique skills along with specialized training to the care of a seriously ill patient, and their caregivers, too. Nurses (RNs, LVNs/LPNs), doctors, and nurse practitioners manage th…
 
Barbara Karnes, author of the iconic hospice guide “the little blue book” Gone from My Sight, talks with Jerry and Helen about ritual, self care wisdom, and thriving as end of life workers. We’re honored to feature our third discussion with Barbara about what she’s seen during the last year. As a hospice RN, Barbara understands how important it is …
 
There’s a lot to process when a hospice patient dies. Grief emotions along with business decisions can make it complicated. Today we’re talking about what a hospice death events looks. Death is common in hospice care, and interdisciplinary teams are highly skilled in caring for patients and families when it occurs. Nurses, social workers, chaplains…
 
One of the major milestones in serious illness occurs when a patient stops eating and drinking. We're talking about why it happens, how to cope with it, and what it means. When someone with a serious illness moves toward death, he might begin to have difficulty taking in food or fluids. It's a hard thing for those who love them to watch. Patient mi…
 
Linda Bryce has worn many hats in her career: attorney, advocate for the elderly, ordained minister, bedside singer, author, and end of life doula. The culmination of all her experiences has been collected into her book, The Courage to Care: Being Fully Present With the Dying. She has been a hospice vigil volunteer and has sat at the bedside of hun…
 
When you want to support someone who’s going through grief, loss, or a difficult life transition, a carefully curated care package from Beyond Words Co. is the perfect way to say you care. Founder Catherine Hinz realized through her own grief experience how much we need thoughtful care. Through the specially chosen products of a care package from B…
 
How long does the patient have? It’s probably the hardest question for the hospice team to answer. Patients and families have different motives for asking. Sometimes it’s as simple as needing to know how much time to ask off from work, or when to schedule FMLA. The motive for asking the “time question” might be more complicated, related to caregive…
 
Author Jill Johnson-Young knows a thing or two about grief. She shares her deep, funny, irreverent wisdom in an interview with The Heart of Hospice. Jill is a social worker based in California, owner of Central Counseling Services and is the author of The Rebellious Widow, an insightful look into managing grief on your own terms. After losing two s…
 
There’s a great virtual learning opportunity from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at the IDC 2021! The Interdisciplinary Conference 2021 brought together by NHPCO will offer some highly valuable education to hospice and palliative care professionals on September 20-22, 2021. It’s all virtual this year, eliminating the cost of …
 
Document, document, document! Documentation is vital to how hospice works, but how can we keep it from disrupting patient care? Even though it seems to be a nuisance and takes a lot of time, it’s crucial to the care of seriously ill patients to document everything we do for our patients. Medical records are created from our documentation. It’s how …
 
It always seems too early until it’s too late. We’re talking advance care planning, grief, and life lessons with Jon and Michelle Braddock of My LIfe and Wishes. With us for his second interview, Jon shares how My Life and Wishes got started after their experience with the death of Michelle’s dad. My Life and Wishes provides an online platform for …
 
Bereavement care is part of the care a hospice team provides to the patient’s family. Chaplains are often the ones who provide those bereavement interventions. Regulations require hospice agencies to follow families (whoever the patient identified as family) for at least 12 months after their loved one dies. To prepare for bereavement needs, the ho…
 
A hospice interdisciplinary team provides enhanced support at the time of a patient’s death - and that includes care from the hospice chaplain. The chaplain, or spiritual counselor, is there to encourage those who are grieving, to provide comfort and guidance during what hospice professionals call a “death event”. Along with other team members (nur…
 
Once the Initial Spiritual Assessment is completed, a hospice chaplain will make routine visits that are used for life review, legacy projects, encouragement, faith discussions, or whatever the patient says is important. Typically the chaplain (also known as the spiritual counselor) will see a stable patient once or twice a month, and when there’s …
 
You’ll find more information about hospice and how to get the best out of your end of life experience at theheartofhospice.com. Need a speaker for your next company event or conference? Send an email to host@theheartofhospice.com to book Jerry Fenter or Helen Bauer to encourage and inspire your audience. You’re not alone in your hospice journey - w…
 
In the second episode of our hospice chaplain series, we’re talking about the Initial Spiritual Assessment, why it’s necessary, and what it includes. Mandated by Medicare, the Initial Spiritual Assessment is completed within 5 days of a patient’s admission to hospice. There’s a lot of information to collect, including details about belief systems, …
 
Chaplains, or spiritual counselors, are one of the core members of a hospice interdisciplinary team. What's their role in the care of seriously ill patients and their families? In this series, we'll talk about how a spiritual counselor comes alongside patients and caregivers to provide supportive spiritual care. Due to outdated beliefs and myths, m…
 
Author Larry Indiviglia shares the incredible story of "126 Days 11 Minutes: Our Love Story" in his interview with The Heart of Hospice. Revealing his heart and vulnerability, Larry tells the story of his brief but deep connection to his partner Gayle as she deals with stage IV breast cancer. Gayle's passion for life and the Argentine tango along w…
 
It can be a challenge to care for someone you love at home during a serious illness. We’ve got some tips to help you to do it successfully. There are a lot of things to consider - finances, wellness of the caregiver, acuity of the patient, and safety of the home are just some of the items that need to be discussed before someone takes on the caregi…
 
Most medical mistakes happen during care transitions. Helen and Jerry have some tips on improving those crucial moves between care providers and settings. Care transitions are changes in a patient’s care setting or care provider. Patients may move from living at home to residing in a facility, or make a transition from home health to hospice care. …
 
A home funeral can be a rich and meaningful experience. The National Home Funeral Alliance offers guidance to help make it happen. Our special guest today is Dani Lavoire, former president of the National Home Funeral Alliance. Dani is a birth midwife who made a connection between the experiences of birth and death. The team at the National Home Fu…
 
Hospice patients and families love their volunteers! This week’s Heartbeat shares the truth about the role of the hospice volunteer. Hospice agencies are required by regulation to recruit volunteers to supplement the patient care hours provided by the agency staff. There are many different jobs volunteers can do, everything from administrative task…
 
Hospice aides are truly an essential part of the interdisciplinary team, providing some of the most intimate care to seriously ill patients. Today’s Heartbeat shares the truth about the role of the aide in end of life care. Providing personal care such as bed baths, showers, catheter or incontinent care, and skin care is just part of what an aide c…
 
GrandPad founders Scott and Isaac Lien believe no senior adult should ever be isolated. GrandPad keeps older adults and their loved ones connected with easy-to-use technology. The GrandPad device is customized to the communication needs of the aging adult. Using a private family network that allows for safe photo and video sharing, GrandPad keeps t…
 
No one on the hospice team is more misunderstood than the chaplain. Today we’re clearing up myths about hospice spiritual counselors. Lots of people think spiritual counselors (commonly called chaplains) are there to convert or change faith beliefs. That could not be further from the truth. The role of the hospice spiritual counselor is to support …
 
In this 3rd episode of the Fact or Fiction series, we’re talking about the problem-solvers of the interdisciplinary team - social workers. Social workers are a vital part of hospice care. There’s a lot of misinformation about the role of a social worker so we’re sharing the facts about what they really do. Social workers act as advocates for patien…
 
We're thrilled to talk with our guest Shaun O’Leary, Joint CEO of St. Christopher’s Hospice in London as he shares how St. Christopher’s is building on its rich history to move hospice care forward into the future. Founded by Dame Cicely Saunders, St. Christopher’s was the first modern hospice center and acted as a model for hospice care in the U.S…
 
The hospice physician and nurse practitioner play key roles in the care of hospice patients. In today's episode we’re sharing facts about what the hospice doc and NP really do. It’s important to remember the patient (or a designated decision maker) is in charge of the care the patient receives. The hospice physician or the attending doctor the pati…
 
Do you know what a hospice nurse really does? In the first episode of our Fact or Fiction series, we’re sharing the facts about hospice nursing - the perfect topic for Nurses Week! The hospice nurse isn’t there to make decisions for patients and caregivers, but to offer support, education, along with clinical care. While the nurse will teach about …
 
The pandemic has created challenges in the ways hospice agencies provide bereavement care. Hospice of Southern Maine is making the technology work. Today’s guest is Carol Schoneberg is an End of Educator and Bereavement Services Manager for Hospice of Southern Maine. Carol acknowledged that various challenges related to social distancing made the b…
 
End of life care can be confusing. The Heart of Hospice is here to support anyone experiencing hospice care, including personal and professional caregivers. If you’re a hospice professional, it’s important to understand the perspective of patients and families so you know how best to meet their needs. Between them, Jerry and Helen have over 20 year…
 
We all need to designate someone to speak for us when we can’t voice our healthcare wishes. Now is the best time to choose your healthcare proxy. A healthcare proxy, or medical power of attorney, acts as an advocate for the needs of a patient in alignment with the patient’s desires. It’s important to have the correct legal documents in place for wh…
 
In the final episode of our patient advocacy series, we’re talking about supporting advance directives to honor end of life wishes. Caregivers often advocate for loved ones to prevent unwanted care. As advocates for family members or friends, caregivers are called to respect the wishes expressed in directives to physicians, diagnosis-specific direc…
 
Hospice of Southern Maine has harnessed the power of virtual reality to educate about end of life care. CEO Daryl Cady shares how their innovative VR program “Clay” teaches what the hospice experience is like for patients and families. Through VR technology, the hospice journey of virtual patient “Clay” and his family demonstrates to both layperson…
 
Sometimes being an advocate for a loved one includes voicing concerns and complaints. Knowing who to talk to and how to do it is important. It’s a good idea to start with the case manager from your hospice team. If that doesn’t work, voice your concern to the director or administrator. Escalate your complaint if there’s not an appropriate response …
 
If you’re a caregiver, you’re an advocate for your loved one. Knowing what records to keep is important. Some things need to be saved, some can be shredded. If you stay organized, you’ll be able to find the documents you need in a crisis. A few of the items you want to make sure you keep are a current medication list, a healthcare history, and all …
 
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