A hospice nurse delivers a guidebook on how to navigate the end-of-life journey.
The author offers sensible advice for dealing with a loved one approaching death: Listen to them, follow their wishes, believe that they understand what’s happening in their bodies, and give them permission to let go when they are ready—even if that’s an uncomfortable idea. Casoff Henry’s debut is slim and simply written, so that even someone in the midst of crisis will be able to appreciate it. She urges families to see palliative care as a reasonable choice and not a failure, which can be a difficult concept in a culture where extreme medical interventions are the norm. She advocates self-advocacy for the terminal patient—not pushing for the best treatments at any cost, but getting honest information from doctors, getting psychological support and pain control, and taking charge of one’s decisions in order to peacefully accept the end of life.Casoff Henry urges families both to resist their desire to make a patient keep going and to keep family fights out of their loved one’s space. She also suggests that families create advance directives such as living wills, health care surrogates and do-not-resuscitate orders. Secular readers will appreciate her advice’s lack of mystical or religious components. Although the book might have been more effective with more bullet points and fewer anecdotes, Casoff Henry’s practical compassion strongly comes through. She omits worksheets, sample documents or other tools which would make this guide an all-in-one planning resource, but she effectively points out simple ways to make communication and decision-making easier before death is imminent.
A collection of guidelines for a more peaceful experience for dying patients and their families.