Ep. 420 Providing Comfort During the Last Days of Life with Barbara Karnes RN

Learn useful tips for helping patients and loved ones be more comfortable at the very end of life – small changes can make a big difference.

This week I welcome back my recurring guest Barbara Karnes RN, hospice nurse, author, speaker, thought leader and expert on end-of-life care. She is the author of ‘the little blue hospice book,” Gone from My Sight and the recently published By Your Side: A Guide for Caring for the Dying at Home. We discuss tips for caregivers to provide comfort to patients during the last days and hours of life when they may not be able to communicate their needs. There are dozens of “little things” that can make a big difference in the comfort level of our loved ones and patients and you’ll learn about them in this conversation. Learn more about Barbara’s work and books at her website:


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This episode includes:

  • Why grooming and hygiene matter for patients all the way through the end of life
  • Tips for good mouth and lip care
  • Preserving patient dignity by honoring their routines
  • Preventing skin breakdown
  • Importance of positioning and turning patients for maximum comfort
  • Dealing with breathing issues and “death rattle”
  • An alternative to adult diapers
  • Options for administering medications sublingually, rectally or as a skin cream

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes. Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest donor Michelle Sandner and to  Amrita for buying me a coffee! Also many thanks to all of you who joined the $10 for 10 Years Campaign! Your contributions make all the difference and ensure this podcast stays ad-free.

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