living your best to the end

Live your best to life’s end.

There’s still lots of life to live–whatever health and medical decisions that may be ahead. For many, feeling ‘alive’ right to the end means feeling useful for as long as possible. For others, it’s peace of mind that brings a peaceful end. For most, it’s feeling wanted, valued, respected and listened-to that are all-important. The pleasures of everyday life can be just as meaningful: what makes you smile, what brings you happiness and joy and what gives you comfort.

It’s often that small stuff that can make a big difference: There are creative ways to accomplish what may seem out of reach – like the man on the rock who may not be able to be physically near an ocean, but may be able to turn to technology to inspire a solution. Paying attention to small pleasures shifts the focus from ‘what I don’t want at life’s end’ to ‘what will make a positive difference to me at life’s end.’ It’s an approach with its own reward: helping someone have the best end can help everyone involved.

Need Inspiration?

 

I want to..

 

How would you fill in the blank? Check out whiteboards and 60-second BestEndings videos: instagram @MyBestEndings

 


 What makes a ‘best’ ending?

Here’s the story of Ricky’s Mother

Ricky Hiess mother had a good death

Ricky Hiess: her mother had a Good Death

 

More good deaths and BestEndings


Need Information?

It can be a long road to learning about and planning for the best end-of-life experience. There’s lots to consider and emotions to tackle. Pick your own starting points: personal or medical decisions  or specific topics.  You can come back for more and then document your end of life wishes

 

 

Live your best to life’s end.

There’s still lots of life to live–whatever health and medical decisions that may be ahead. For many, feeling ‘alive’ right to the end means feeling useful for as long as possible. For others, it’s peace of mind that brings a peaceful end. For most, it’s feeling wanted, valued, respected and listened-to that are all-important. The pleasures of everyday life can be just as meaningful: what makes you smile, what brings you happiness and joy and what gives you comfort.

It’s often that small stuff that can make a big difference: There are creative ways to accomplish what may seem out of reach – like the man on the rock who may not be able to be physically near an ocean, but may be able to turn to technology to inspire a solution. Paying attention to small pleasures shifts the focus from ‘what I don’t want at life’s end’ to ‘what will make a positive difference to me at life’s end.’ It’s an approach with its own reward: helping someone have the best end can help everyone involved.

Need Inspiration?

 

I want to..



pick a topic


Caring for aging parents: Chronic illness >

Heart and kidney failure, frailty, Alzheimer’s, Lung Disease, Diabetes

Palliative 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: A.N.D

Traditions, Culture and Being Remembered>

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

Modern Medicine can keep you alive

Heroic Measures; Breathing Machines,  Feeding Tubes, Medication

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, Living Will, End of Life Wishes

Create your own end of life, Advance Directives Living Will with an interactive form


Personal Support Worker (PSW): caring at life’s end

Dealing with grief and End of Life as a Personal Support Worker Guest Post by Natrice Rese It’s something that you are prepared for as a student.  It is understood that as a caregiver, a PSW, you will maintain a distance, a separation, a formal kind of relationship with your clients and residents. But when you actually begin the job you quickly find out that it is not quite as easy to deal with when you can put faces, names and personalities to the residents you care for.  Close connections bring an affection for your clients and vice versa.  Personally I found it hard to be at a distance: When you give total and personal support to residents you can’t help but have feelings of friendship, protection, and empathy that is by nature what a caregiver has in his or her “toolbag”. I recall one particular lovely lady who was often in my care in the facility where I worked.   I will call her “Mary”. Mary had brilliant silver hair and very blue eyes, lots of smiles, laughs and mischievous looks. She was obviously loved by her family and had visits often. Mary was dealing with many issues: she endured a stroke that limited her movement and mobility.  She also had dementia so she needed a lot of support, smiles, hugs, and conversation. Although Mary was confined to a wheelchair she was able to roll her chair around the halls and with one hand surprisingly strong. She was as continually busy as a small child is, always on the move, always into something – often trying to exit through doors, enter... read more

As we age, do we become too thin-skinned?

In a word: Yep. Our skin thins and gets dry Thin, dry skin often gets itchy. And that can lead to a mess of problems. Hence, the expression: thin-skinned. Perhaps not as talked about as the other issues of aging, but should be – considering how much skin we have. Dr Richard Usatine my fellow Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) is a primary care doc and lead author of The Color Atlas of Family Medicine. A lesson in elder-skincare “Our glands produce less natural oil which leads to dry skin. We scratch and we pick and broken skin can lead to infections. often the backs of our hands and forearms that are first affected.” In addition to the natural aging process, there are factors that influence the thinning of the skin: genetics, lifestyle specifically sun exposure, smoking and alcohol, and some medications can make skin more sensitive. What to do to protect our skin? The good doc offers these tips: Gloves: for gardening, biking, cleaning. Moisturize: doesn’t have to be expensive product. Good time to moisturize is after a bath or shower – which should not be too hot. Gentle cleaning, proper drying and staying dry – including sweaty parts like armpits, folds of skin, groin – can help prevent skin break-down. Keep hydrated: drink more water. Alcohol doesn’t count. Eat properly: good nutrition helps in so many ways Wear a hat: The tops of our heads also need care: skin thins there, too. Use sunscreen and stay out of the sun, especially between those hottest hours 11 – 3pm. Feet: a high-risk area – as those... read more

Advance Care Planning: Women’s College Hospital and Kathy Kastner

National Advance Care Planning Day sees Women’s College Hospital as leaders: bringing the first consumer-created End-of-Life website to Family Doctors. TORONTO APRIL 16…Women’s College Hospital  (WCH) is the first to embark on a project with Family Doctors and patients to evaluate the only consumer-created website for end of life education, BestEndings.com, developed by Kathy Kastner. With the trend to involve patients in all aspects of health care – from research to policy – selected WCH Family Doctors will ask their patients to help evaluate BestEndings, via paper or electronic survey. Feedback and input will be used to improve the overall user experience. Dr Chen championed BestEndings.com in ‘Dragon’s Den’ type pitch session. Dr Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, is winner of the 6th annual Excellence in Education awards recognize WCH staff who demonstrate a commitment to education, create an environment that enhances understanding and teamwork and who have a broader impact on WCH’s and women’s education and interprofessional activities. “Women’s College Hospital is leading the way by hosting a project like this. Working together is the first step to creating a mutual understanding of improving patient-doctor end of life conversations and being able to care for and treat patients in the best way possible. “ Says Dr Chen. “Kathy has a history of creating award-winning patient-centered education: she brings a ‘layperson’s perspective to end of life issues, along with curating evidence-based resources and an electronic Advance Directives form.” About Kathy Kastner: With a background in journalism and entrepreneurship, Kathy pioneered North America’s first hospital-based patient-education television networks, implemented for 20 years in top teaching hospitals... read more