The Heart of Hospice Podcast

The Heart of Hospice Podcast

The Heart of Hospice podcast is dedicated to helping personal and professional caregivers who are caring for someone with serious illness. We're here to provide information and education so people can make informed choices about end of life care.

Episodes

May 24, 2024 51 mins

1 in 4 Medicare hospice patients is a U.S. military veteran.  End of life workers need to know how to take care of their special needs and enhance their quality of life.  It’s important for EOL teams to know the signs of PTSD and how to listen when these patients (and their caregivers!) are communicating what they need.

Many military veterans experience trauma, guilt, and anger, causing what is identified as “soul injury”.  H...

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Christina Keys can tell you the realities of being a caregiver for someone with a serious illness - the good, the bad, and the ugly. As the sole caregiver for her mother following a catastrophic stroke, Christina experienced financial, emotional, mental, physical, and relational impacts. The relationship between the two women was complicated, following a history of childhood abuse.  

When her mom needed end of life care, Chri...

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This trio of End of Life Doulas is educating the public and other doulas about EOL doula work, and how they support people as they die.  Diane Button, Gabby Jimenez, and Angela Shook are sharing their wisdom along with practical guidance for doula work.  With heart, compassion, and respect for the intensity of death, the three EOL doulas discussed the unknowns about doulas.  They openly acknowledge the difficulties doulas face...

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Hospice nurse Shelley Henry is supporting nurses working in end of life care with advocacy, video tips, and support for their self care.  Shelley uses the two words “divine intervention” to describe how she got ino working with patients at the end of their lives.   After 20 years in the hospice industry, Shelley remains committed to preserving the art of hospice nursing. She’s the president of The Amity Group, a staffing firm ...

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Sarah Cavanaugh believes having conversations about death helps us clear the air and find peace, whether those discussions are in person or in our hearts and minds.  Sarah is the founder of Peaceful Exit,  a company that explores all aspects of grief and loss. She co-designed a curriculum to open the conversation around the physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of death and dying. 

She also hosts Peaceful Exit, a pod...

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As a caregiver her entire adult life, Elizabeth Miller has learned how to find the joy in the caregiving life. As a Certified Caregiving Consultant, she helps other caregivers make the best of their own experience.  Elizabeth joined forces with her siblings to provide support for their parents, and for her developmentally delayed brother.  Each sibling brought his or her own skill set and strength to the care.  Elizabeth playe...

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Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, has been talking about death and dying for years - and she’s still alive.  As an award-winning death speaker, Gail uses humor and film clips to educate the public about advance care planning, funeral pre-planning, and estate planning.  She’s a Certified Thanatologist and a featured speaker at TEDxABQ, where she spoke on “A Good Goodbye”. 

Gail is the author of four books on end-of-life, inclu...

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Jennifer O’Brien is sharing details of her caregiving journey, telling the story of her husband’s life-limiting illness and how she’s learned to make the most of Precious Time.  After working 35+ years as a practice management consultant to physicians, Jennifer supported her husband Bob up to and through the end of his life.  As a hospice and palliative care physician, Bob knew what to expect from his illness.  He and Jennifer...

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The story of the terminal illness and death of Kimberly Acquaviva’s wife Kathy is powerful, intense, real… and human. As a hospice social worker and LGBTQ+ community advocate, Kim knows what good end of life care looks like. During their experience with Kathy’s end stage cervical cancer, the women discovered that none of the hospice agencies where they lived had LGBTQ - inclusive non-discrimination statements. Both Kathy and K...

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Senator Meg Cappel turned her experience as a caregiver for her terminally ill mother into advocacy and now works to promote hospice care in her home state. 

Meg believes a true legacy - one that lasts - is a legacy of kindness. Years of working as a special education teacher taught her the importance of seeing people and meeting them where they are. As a caregiver along with her siblings, Meg experienced all the nuances of c...

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Supporting people who are grieving is fulfilling, joyful work. Just ask Help Texts founder Emma Payne. After having a personal loss, Emma realized how much we could improve how we support grievers. She’d spent years working in the tech space. That knowledge helped launch Help Texts. Their service provides grief support for events like pregnancy loss, pet loss, and death of a loved one.  

The needs of grievers came into sharp ...

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Joelle Johns believes telling people they’re dying gives them an opportunity to say the goodbyes, do the final things they want to do, apologize, and forgive. Joelle is a death midwife and grief counselor, as well as a pastoral thanatologist and clinical chaplain, having just completed her designation as a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain (BCC). She also holds a certificate in Death Midwifery. 

As a pastoral thanatologist, J...

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Death Doula Jo-Anne Haun has found growth and meaning in working with the dying. As co-founder of Death Doula Network International, Jo-Anne works to support and educate about the work of death doulas. Jo-Anne uses her personal gift of gentle humor in her volunteer work as a therapy clown (Code Name: Buttons). Jo-Anne’s habit of incorporating a little fun into a discussion about end of life wishes is a gentle lead-in to deeper...

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Death literacy advocate and Community Doula Francesca Arnoldy is sharing the role of a death doula and how to support someone through a time of intensity.  She’s the author of The Death Doula's Guide to Living Fully and Dying Prepared, a workbook that offers the opportunity ​​to explore mortality and end-of-life care planning.  In her work as an end of life doula, Francesca focuses on end of life planning conversations.  She’s...

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Award-winning End of Life Educator Barbara Karnes takes a deep dive into the unique challenges of caring for someone with dementia at end of life.  Caregivers often find their responsibilities accumulating over time as the disease trajectory continues. They’re forced to live in the present, to see their loved one as who they are today.  The goal is to bring joy and quality of life to a beloved today, in this moment.  

Hospice...

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*Trigger warning - this episode contains a description of an intense death event and the death of a child. Please make space for your self care if you find the topic overwhelming.

Juli Henderson has turned the loss of her son into meaningful advocacy, sharing her wisdom with other caregivers. Juli and her husband Chris were the parents of a son, Robert. Robert had a rare mitochondrial disorder. Genetic testing revealed that ...

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Hospice physician Dr. Karen Wyatt wants people to get comfortable thinking about death, and have time to plan for the end of their lives.  Karen is the host of the End of Life University podcast and author of 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying.   She’s considered a thought leader in end of life care.  We talked about lots of topics related to hospice in this great conversation, including trends in the industry, advance care p...

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*Trigger warning - this episode contains a description of an intense death event. Please make space for your self care if you find the topic overwhelming. 

Death doula Karen Hendrickson’s brother died suddenly when she was sixteen years old. That event became a lifelong lesson in death and dying, grief, and how to support teens during a loss. 

As co-founder of Death Doula Network International, Karen Hendrickson specializes ...

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Hospice nurse and end of life doula Gabby Jimenez of the Hospice Heart shared her thoughts in our great conversation about supporting MAID caregivers, and her new book Dignity Day. Hospice and end of life workers should know what Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) is, regardless of their personal opinion about MAID. If patients and caregivers ask questions, every EOL worker should be able to answer questions and provide resources.   

...

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Caregiver, physician, wife, and griever - Dr. Lucy Kalanithi shares her remarkable journey with her husband Dr. Paul Kalanithi, author of When Breath Becomes Air. Lucy’s experience with her terminally-ill husband and his death has shaped how she approaches patient care and thinks about human suffering.   

Dr. Kalanithi is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor ...

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