More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, and spirit visits after the passing of a loved one. ___________________________________________

Monday, January 18, 2010

Palliative Care - Helping You Care For Your Terminally Ill Loved One

When my grandmother was placed in palliative care, I thought it meant that the doctors were giving up hope for her ever being able to recover. It’s not like that at all. In fact, she gets better care and more services now that she is in palliative care than she did when she was not. She no longer has to try to travel to the doctor—he comes to her. By the way, I think making the sick travel to the healer is quite backwards. The well/healers should come to the sick. No wonder everyone is sick. We gather them in a waiting room to share germs with one another while waiting for their turn to see the physician.
Back to the matter at hand. Nanny would have been bedridden if not for the hoist (like a car engine hoist) used to lift her lift her from her bed to her chair. Within the past month, she has begun to transfer from bed to wheelchair using a sliding board (see photo). When I visited her this past weekend, she stood on both feet for 42 seconds, and was able to stand from her bed using the walker and take three steps forward and then back to the side of the bed (see photo). She has set a goal for herself to be able to get from the bed to the wheel chair without the hoist or the sliding board by the end of this month. Physical therapy and palliative care have made all the difference for her, but without my mom’s consistent and firm urging Nanny to exercise her limbs for the past year while laying in bed, she might never have made this kind of progress. My mom is a saint. She is one of the strongest women I know of anywhere. And I see that same strength, willpower, and determination in my grandmother and my daughter.

I found the following article written by Lorraine Kember and hope it will be a blessing to you.

Ask most people what they know about palliative care and they will inevitably reply that it is intended for those who are dying. Undeniably, palliative care is available to support families at this sad time, however their services are equally intended to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support to the patient and their families as they journey through terminal illness.

It is important to bear in mind, that despite a terminal diagnosis, there is still life, and survival may range from months to several years. Quality of life, for the entirety of terminal illness is paramount. Palliative Care teams and the services they provide are there to help you care for your terminally ill loved one and to provide for them, the best quality of life attainable.

It is unfortunate that due to a misconception that Palliative Care is intended only for the very end of life, many do not embrace their services until the final stages of terminal disease and as a result, quality of life which could have been attained for the entirety of the illness is never realized.

Chronic untreated pain is debilitating, it dramatically affects a patient’s ability to participate in daily routines and in some cases takes away their will to live. Tragically, many people are suffering chronic pain unnecessarily. Pain management specialists attached to palliative care teams have vast knowledge regarding cancer pain and of medications available to control it. Once pain is brought under control, quality of life will be vastly improved.

Caring for a terminally ill loved one is a catastrophic experience; palliative care members understand this and there are counselors available to help you cope with your anticipatory grief. Likewise, chaplains are there to support you with prayer.

I cannot praise highly enough the services of palliative care, the team, who worked with me during my husband’s terminal illness, have my eternal gratitude. Through their dedication and the pain management specialist’s knowledge, my husband’s pain was controlled and the quality of his life improved dramatically. The silver chain nurses attached to the team visited us regularly and I looked forward to speaking with them and voicing any concerns I had in regard to my husband’s care. They never intruded on our privacy but were always just a phone call away if I needed them.

I urge you to embrace palliative care soon after diagnosis so that your terminally ill loved one and you may reap the benefits afforded by this wonderful group of caring individuals.

Article written by: Lorraine Kember – Author of “Lean on Me” Cancer through a Carer’s Eyes. Lorraine’s book is written from her experience of caring for her dying husband in the hope of helping others. It includes insight and discussion on: Anticipatory Grief, Understanding and identifying pain, Pain Management and Symptom Control, Chemotherapy, Palliative Care, Quality of Life and Dying at home. It also features excerpts and poems from her personal diary. Highly recommended by the Cancer Council. “Lean on Me” is not available in bookstores - For detailed information, Doctor’s recommendations, Reviews, Book Excerpts and Ordering Facility - visit her website

For more information, you might enjoy reading the complete book More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife. Purchase on


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