living your best to the end

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Caring for aging parents: Chronic Illness >

Heart and kidney failure, frailty, Alzheimer’s, Lung disease, Diabetes, Cancer

Comfort Care and Quality of Life >

The Palliative and Hospice approach: comfort and quality of life is what it’s all about

Understanding Medical Terms and Jargon >

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation: CPR; Do Not Resuscitate: DNR; Allow Natural Death: AND

Culture, Traditions and Being Remembered >

Time honored customs can help at life’s end, and to keep memories alive.

Modern Medicine can keep you alive >

Heroic Measures: CPR, Breathing Machines, Feeding Tubes, Medications.

End of Life: Grief and Bereavement >

Knowing what End of Life looks like can ease the process; often grief starts long before the end.

Decision Makers: Consent and Conflict >

Surrogate, Substitute, Agent, Proxy: who will make sure your end of life wishes are followed.

Advance Directives

Advance Directives, Living Wills, Estate Plans, Financial Plans, Power of Attorney, Funeral Plans.

End of Life Planning Blog

Elderly and Sleep

Elderly and Sleep

We need less sleep as we get older. Everyone knows that right? Wrong! Completely and utterly wrong.
The myth that the need to sleep drops as we advance in years is one of those random misconceptions that somehow takes hold and persists – kind of like how if you eat something within five seconds of it falling on the floor it will be fine. No, it won’t.

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Dementia – more than memory loss: it’s a broken brain

Dementia: Communication, hard-to-manage behaviours and safety A much needed re-framing of Dementia from Alberta Health Services clinical nurse specialists, Jennette Coats and Loralee Fox, who embrace care and caring for those with ‘broken brains’. I sat in on their extremely practical and sensitive strategy session for supervisors of Home-Care Workers organized by Revera Health Care.Whose patient population increasingly has one or more Dementia: Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body, Fronto-Temporal Lobe, Vascular Attendees included nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, personal support workers and physiotherapists who shared some of their own coping stories, dealing with their own parents with Dementia: “I could tell my mom all the awful stuff about my divorce. She’d forget as soon as I told her – so I got to ‘dump’ without guilt.” As the broken brain description implies, it’s more than just memory loss that caregivers cope with. It’s the responsive b behaviors – aggression, anxiety, agitation, wandering – that drains emotionally and physically. One of the strongest messages acknowledged the issue of time: Caring for someone with violent behaviours of dementia can take 50% more time Staying safe takes time: trying to be efficient can be self-defeating “Rushing through can cause emotional distress and increase anxiety, agitation, and aggression.” From the Gerio Psychiatric Education program in Victoria British Columbia, the acronym, ABCDE Apologies: One of the most powerful the calming strategies I’m sorry – I didn’t mean to upset you. I’m sorry – you’re right. I’m sorry I made you feel (angry, hurt, dismissed..) I’m sorry – I know you’re trying so hard. I’m sorry – this must be so hard for you. One of the... read more

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