Re: [MOL] Info. for our Caregivers..... [00909] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] Info. for our Caregivers.....

Hi Lillian;
    I will check again about a morphine pump. The way it was
explained to us at a pain clinic was that it is a small pump
that you wear and part of it would be surgically placed into
the spine. They emphacized concern for infection to the
spine. Thanks again for your reply. I am really wore out
this week. The caregiver couldn't come this week and a
replacement couldn't be found. Hopefully, next week will be
better. Caregiver will be back, car is fixed and hopefully
Bucky will be alright for awhile.........Love .......Beav

Lillian wrote:

>   Health News

       Health Focus: Comforting A Dying Person

       August 2, 2000

       Knowing what to expect and being prepared for the
       death of a loved one can make this difficult
       end-of-life transition a little less traumatic.


       Until the 1940s, most people died at home,
       surrounded by friends and family. But with the
       dramatic advances in medical technology that
       occurred in the mid-1900s, death and dying became
       increasingly removed from the lives of Americans.
       The primary location for death changed to hospitals
       and nursing homes, often out of sight of families
       and loved ones.

       In recent years, however, more and more people are
       dying at home again — primarily because they choose
       to — and their families aren't always sure how to
       act or what to say. Knowing what to expect and being
       prepared can make this difficult end-of-life
       transition a little less traumatic.

       Giving Comfort, Giving Care

       "Probably the most important thing is advance
       planning," says Michael Harper, M.D., instructor of
       medicine and medical director for Beacham Ambulatory
       Care Center at Johns Hopkins. "Before it's too late,
       the person who's dying should make plans for what
       will happen as his life comes to an end — the things
       he wants done, as well as those he doesn’t want
       done." It is also important to remember that despite
       this advice, many people simply choose not to make
       such plans.

       For example, does the dying person want lots of
       company, or would he rather be left alone? Should
       family members share sensitive information, or
       should they withhold it? Will there be aggressive
       medical care, or will death be allowed to come
       naturally? These are all things that are best
       decided in advance.

       "I often recommend that people who are dying name a
       health care agent, maybe someone in the family who
       will make decisions for them if and when the time
       comes that they can no longer decide for
       themselves," says Dr. Harper. "It certainly can help
       families cope when there are some plans laid out and
       they know what their loved ones have chosen."

       Everyone has different needs, of course, but some
       emotions are nearly universal among the dying. To
       make those last weeks or months as comfortable and
       stress-free as possible, here are a few points to
       keep in mind:

          * Your presence is everything. "One of the things
            dying people are afraid of is abandonment,"
            says Dr. Harper. Having people around —
            talking, watching movies or simply reading
            together — can give tremendous comfort. Of
            course, Dr. Harper adds, some people would just
            as soon be left alone. The only way you’ll know
            for sure is to ask.
          * Be prepared to listen. Those who are dying may
            want to share their fears, discuss their
            uncertainty about the future and talk about
            their concerns for those they’re leaving
            behind. Keep in mind, however, that men and
            women, whether they’re the caregivers or those
            receiving care, often express themselves in
            different ways. Men, for example, have a
            tendency to give advice when someone really
            just wants them to listen. Women, on the other
            hand, may push people to "let it all out." "You
            need to ask yourself what your spouse or your
            father or your mother would want, not what you
            want," says Dr. Harper.
  [.]     * Be honest and share information. Family members
            naturally want to protect their loved ones, and
            sometimes they do this by withholding difficult
            information — news about lab test results, for
            example, or practical details about real estate
            or finances. It’s usually better to be
            forthright. People who are dying need to retain
            a sense of control, and this means being
            included in family discussions.
          * Give a lot of reassurance. "In surveys, when
            you ask people what they fear most later in
            life, death is rarely number one," Dr. Harper
            says. "What people usually say is, 'I don’t
            want to be a burden on my family.'" Take the
            time to let the dying person know how much you
            value him and how grateful you are for the
            opportunity to spend this last time together.
          * Settle unfinished business. Everyone has
            regrets — things they wish they'd done, old
            rifts they wish they'd healed, places they wish
            they'd seen. It's not always possible to
            fulfill last wishes for a dying person, but
            sometimes you can. So it's worth asking if
            there's anything you can do.
          * Respect the need for privacy. "People often
            say, 'I don't want anyone to see me like
            this,'" says Dr. Harper. "You just have to be
            attuned to what the individual needs."

       Care For The Living

       Dying takes a toll on everyone, not the least on
       those who are left behind. It doesn't make sense to
       run yourself ragged during the last weeks or months,
       says Dr. Harper. Get some help, and do it early.

       "There's a great underutilization of hospice care,"
       Dr. Harper says. "Most people who are enrolled in
       hospice programs stay only a few weeks because they
       came so late. This is unfortunate because hospice
       care provides grief counseling along with lots of
       additional benefits." In addition, hospice programs
       are paid for by Medicare, and they include both
       inpatient and at-home care, as well as care for the
       living. Your doctor can recommend a program in your

       The process of dying is generally much longer than
       it used to be because of improved medical care. So
       it's worth looking for ways to gets through this
       period with your emotions and even your health
       intact. You can do several things to keep your peace
       of mind:

          * Realize that no matter how hard you try, you
            can’t do everything. Make sure other family
            members know what you’re going through. Get
            them involved in the daily care — changing the
            linens, shopping for groceries or keeping the
            dying person company.
          * Be direct about conflicts. Sometimes you just
            can't do what the dying person wants. It's
            important to be forthright about your
            limitations. Otherwise, resentment and anger
            are sure to simmer — and the dying person will
            perceive them, whether they’re spoken or not.
          * Prepare yourself for feelings of guilt. Nearly
            everyone who cares for the dying goes through
            phases of guilt and anger. You may feel guilty
            because of things you wish you hadn't done,
            because of old wounds or because you found
            yourself wishing it all would end. It's normal
            to feel this way. So don't be hard on yourself.
            Understand that feelings of guilt are simply
            part of the process.
          * Get ready for the end. Even when people have
            prepared for the death of a loved one who has
            been chronically ill for months or even years,
            the end nearly always comes as a shock to the
            survivors. You may want to ask your doctor to
            explain how to recognize when death is near. It
            will give you time to prepare yourself — and
            your family — for this last, sad stage of

>    We invite you to take a look at our Album.
>   ( Very
> informational, good tips, Molers pictures, art work and
> much more....

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