EOLPodcast

Ep. 350 Meeting the End-of-Life Needs of Your Community with Elizabeth Johnson and Erin Collins RN

Learn how this non-profit organization is working to solve gaps in end-of-life care in their community.

My guests Elizabeth Johnson and Erin Collins are the founders and creators of the non-profit Peaceful Presence Project with a mission of helping communities live well, age well and die well by reimagining the way we talk about, plan for and experience the last stage of life. They have created Endnotes, a roadmap for end-of-life planning an will discuss the genesis of their organization and how they take a community-based approach in their work by meeting the gaps that exist in end-of-life care. Learn more at their website:

www.the peacefulpresenceproject.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Elizabeth and Erin were inspired to start this organization
  • The Compassionate Communities model of care that informs their work
  • The importance of integrating palliative care into daily life
  • How to reclaim deathcare as a social event with a medical component
  • Surveying the community for strengths and weaknesses around end-of-life issues to determine areas of need
  • Thoughts on improving the medical model to move from a curative focus to a healing focus by increasing education around palliative and end-of-life care
  • Reasons why our advance care planning has not been “successful” so far
  • High quality conversations about EOL choices are essential and they should start outside of healthcare first
  • Why advance care planning is important for those experiencing homelessness
  • The needs for increased access to palliative care in rural communities
  • Exploring who is too poor to die well

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! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 349 Why My Family Chose Hospice with Kathleen Vallee Stein

Learn about the hospice experience from the perspective of a family member.

My guest Kathleen Vallee Stein worked for the California Department of Aging and has written numerous articles on caring for aging patents for more than twenty years. Her work has been published in the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Pasadena Star-News, Orange County Register, and the Jewish Journal. Recently she has written a book about her family’s experiences as her father faced the end of life called Loving Choices, Peaceful Passing: Why My Family Chose Hospice, and today she’ll share insights from that hospice journey with her father. Learn more at her website:

www.valleeview.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How her family made the decision to choose hospice for her father
  • The challenges of having conversations about hospice with a loved one at the end of life
  • How the family had to bring up hospice with the doctor initially but he was helpful after that point
  • The relief experienced by the entire family and the patient once they made the decision to stop curative treatment and to enroll in hospice
  • Negative misperceptions about hospice are an obstacle to early admission
  • How her father’s temperament changed for the better after going on hospice
  • Why Kathleen hired in-home professional caregivers even though her parents were initially opposed to it
  • How they managed their parents’ financial issues as a family
  • Dealing with old family conflicts that arise at the end of life
  • How the hospice chaplain made a big difference for her father
  • The many positive surprises that arose during her father’s end of life
  • How they planned the funeral and made decisions about disposition
  • How she and her mother grew closer through the challenges of caring for her father at the end of life
  • Advice to those considering hospice for a loved one
  • Hope and “precious time” with her father in his last days

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! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 348 My Living Obituary: Legacy Therapy at the End of Life with Maggie Gannon and Heidi Connolly

Learn about a new platform that helps people create their own obituary or legacy project to benefit their loved ones after death.

My guests are Maggie Gannon, an Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist who started My Living Obituary, and Heidi Connolly, an author, musician and intuitive coach who helps people write their obituaries. Maggie created My Living Obituary to help palliative care and hospice teams increase quality of life and improve patient experience. Heidi helps people using the platform craft their own stories to leave behind as a legacy for their loved ones. Learn more about their work at these websites:

Maggie: www.mylivingobituary.com

Heidi: www.theobitwriter.net and www.heidiconnolly.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The evidence behind legacy therapy to enhance dignity at the end of life based on research by Dr. Harvey Chochinov
  • How telling our life story helps us find meaning in our existence
  • Legacy therapy helps improve quality of life and decrease depression for patients
  • Studies have shown that family members benefit from legacy therapy as well
  • Listening to patients’ stories has been shown to increase their sense of worth and value
  • How the legacy therapy platform can be incorporated into the intake process for patients and used to measure quality of life and bill for advance care planning
  • Tips for writing an obituary:
    • Just get started
    • You don’t have to be a good writer
    • Make lists of characteristics, preferences, stories
    • Find a good “hook” for the story
    • Include poems, music, videos
  • The benefits of having a guide and a platform to help people craft an obituary
  • Creating your own living obituary before you die helps unburden loved ones at the time of your death
  • How this platform allows unlimited space for obituaries, unlike newspaper obituaries
  • How clinical staff can use the platform to enroll new patients and assist them with the life review questions

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! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 343 When My Time Comes: Conversations About Medical Aid in Dying with Diane Rehm

Hear award-winning journalist Diane Rehm discuss what she learned about Medical Aid in Dying through conversations with people both for and against these laws.

My special guest Diane Rehm was the host of The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU and NPR for nearly 40 years with a weekly on-air audience of more than 2.8 million people. She is the author of 5 best-selling autobiographical book including her latest When My Time Comes: Conversations About Whether Those Who Are Dying Should Have the Right to Determine When Life Should End. She shares her experiences traveling the country and interviewing people about medical aid in dying for the book and the documentary film by the same name. Learn more at these websites:

www.dianerehm.org

www.whenmytimecomesmovie.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Diane’s journey with her husband John at the end of his life
  • Why Diane was inspired to create the documentary (and later the book) When My Time Comes
  • How memories of Dr. Kevorkian may still create fear and negativity around this subject
  • Lack of joy in life is a more common reason for choosing MAID than physical pain
  • Why choosing MAID is different than suicide
  • Current facts about Medical Aid in Dying laws in the U.S.
  • Common arguments against these laws from religious and disability communities
  • Safeguards built into these laws to prevent abuse and coercion
  • Patients with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are not eligible for MAID
  • This option is not equally available to all groups of people across the country for multiple reasons
  • How Brittany Maynard’s story galvanized this movement
  • The goal is to allow choice for people at the end of life

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 patrons Erica Sanchez and Kelly Bean! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 337 The Hospice Doctor’s Widow: A Caregiver’s Journal with Jennifer O’Brien

Learn about a beautiful, artistic journal that explores the caregiver’s journey through dying and grief.

My guest this week is Jennifer O’Brien, author of the creative, gorgeous journal: The Hospice Doctor’s Widow. She discusses her journey as she cared for her husband who was a hospice and palliative care physician diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. We talk about grief and loss and caregiving in this intimate conversation. Learn more at her website:

www.hospicedrswidow.com

Get the book here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why this book is ideal for caregivers and people dealing with grief
  • How Jennifer created the art for the book
  • How Jennifer incorporated her husband’s wisdom into the book
  • What is “Precious Time” and how did that inform the way she and Bob spent his last days of life together
  • Navigating anticipatory grief for caregivers
  • Why the patient and the caregiver are going through two different processes
  • Why the survivors’ journey can be more difficult than the patient’s journey
  • What is the Triad of Certainty
  • Advice for caregivers
  • The At Peace Toolkit – A Guide to Being at Peace with End of Life

‘Precious Time’ is when you say what you need to say and don’t say what you will later regret.”

from The Hospice Doctor’s Widow by Jennifer O’Brien
  • A Year of Reading Dangerously – Register here
  • Get the At Peace Toolkit from Jennifer here

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 new patrons G. Thackrey and Mary Susan Graham! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 336 Better Place Forests: Reimagining Cemeteries with Sandy Gibson

Learn why forests are the cemeteries of the future.

My guest Sandy Gibson is the co-founder and CEO of Better Place Forests, a sustainable alternative to traditional cemeteries for families who choose cremation. Sandy founded several companies and worked in finance and software before founding Better Place Forests. He shares how experiencing significant loss early in his life helped inspire him decide to reimagine cemeteries and make them good for the entire world. You’ll learn how you can find “your tree” and plan ahead for a sustainable, earth-friendly disposition after you die. Learn more about Better Place Forests at the website:

www.betterplaceforests.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How the idea for Better Place Forests came about.
  • Why it is important to reimagine cemeteries right now.
  • How Better Place Forests are intended to be places for families and communities to come together.
  • How the service works for those “at need” or those choosing a tree in advance.
  • What a “spreading ceremony” consists of
  • The importance of rituals at the end of life
  • Where Better Place Forests are located and may expand in the future
  • How Better Place is planting trees to offset the carbon footprint of fire cremation
  • Advice for people experiencing loss and grief at this time

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 new patrons Louise O’Brien and Daraleen C. Shales! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 334 Terramation: A Green Option for Death Care with Micah Truman and Brie Smith

Learn about an exciting environmentally friendly option for disposition after death.

My guests today are Micah Truman, the CEO and Founder of Return Home.com, and Brie Smith who is the Services Director for the company. Return Home is designed to ensure a sustainable future for the planet by using terramation, an environmentally friendly option for disposition after death. They discuss the process of terramation (a form of human composting) and how it is available right now to people from all 50 states at Return Home. You can learn more at their website:

www.returnhome.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How the inspiration for Return Home came about
  • What is terramation and how it works
  • The benefits of terramation over fire cremation or natural burial
  • How Return Home is able to service clients from other states (outside of Washington state)
  • What is possible for funerals and memorial services at Return Home
  • The end product of terramation and what can be done with it
  • What EOL educators should teach their clients about terramation and where to find resources
  • How one can make plans in advance to utilize the services of Return Home

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 new patron fotoguyz! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 333 Swedish “Death Cleaning”: The Perfect Way to Begin a New Year with Karen Wyatt

Learn how the practice of “death cleaning” can simplify your life and help you prepare for the end of life.

In this first solo episode of 2022 I share what I’ve been learning about the Swedish practice of döstädning, which translates as “death cleaning.” This idea was first shared by Margareta Magnusson in her book “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter.” She describes the Swedish custom of sorting through and downsizing material possessions in later life in order to lessen the burden your loved ones will experience after you die. I’m adopting this custom this year as part of my new perspective for this New Year and I think it’s something we could be teaching our patients and clients along with educating them about advance directives. Take a listen and see what you think! Let me know if you have done death cleaning in the past or are planning to start now.

Get Margareta Magnusson’s book

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why “death cleaning” is actually minimalism for seniors
  • How this practice can benefit us in our daily lives
  • The realization that material objects only have the value we invest in them while we are alive
  • The impermanence of every single possession we own
  • Tips for “death cleaning”
  • How to declutter your digital assets as well as your living space
  • Why you should create a grief ritual as you declutter to help you release the energy contained in your possessions

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 new patrons Sue Skeates and Lucy Karl; and thank you Diane Button for increasing your annual pledge! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 331 Looking Ahead to 2022

Learn how the innovations of the past year are going to create more positive change in 2022!

In this final episode of 2021 I’ll share with you some of the innovations of 2021 that are going to be driving further change in the coming year. I’ll remind you of some of the conversations from this past year that provide potential solutions to the issues we are currently facing around end-of-life care. And we’ll recognize that amidst all the pain and sorrow of this pandemic year there has been much to be grateful and joyful about! (This episode is overflowing with information so keep a pen and paper handy to make note of interviews you may want to hear!)

Listen here:

This episode includes:

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 new patrons Teri A. Portugal Gooden and Cari Zlotnick; and thank you Brittany Ellis for increasing your monthly pledge! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 320 Disrupting the Casket Industry: Titan Casket Online with Scott Ginsberg, Liz Siegel, and Josh Siegel

Learn about an online marketplace for caskets that is a game-changer for the funeral industry.

My three guests–Scott Ginsberg, Liz Siegel, and Josh Siegel–are the co-founders of Titan Casket, an online marketplace that sells caskets directly to consumers. The mission of Titan Casket is “to offer designer caskets at revolutionary prices, while driving affordability and transparency in the funeral industry.” Today they’ll share why the casket and funeral industries are in need of disruption and how their online service works for consumers. We’ll talk about technology in general and how it is currently changing every aspect of end-of-life planning. Learn more at their website:

www.titancasket.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What inspired the creation of Titan Casket
  • Why now is the right time for a disruption in the funeral industry
  • How their online marketplace works for consumers
  • The “Funeral Rule” and consumer rights in funeral planning
  • How Titan Casket can actually benefit funeral directors
  • How an “on-demand” casket company can meet the unique and creative needs of consumers with a rapid turn-around time
  • Why death doulas, home funeral guides and alternative funeral directors should know about Titan Casket and their eco-friendly caskets
  • How technology is impacting other areas of end-of-life care

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 supporters Kelly Bean, Leslie Alin-Tewes, Karen Friedman and Kyle Tevlin! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 319 At the Bedside: Tools for Caring for the Dying with Gabrielle Elise Jimenez

Learn how this hospice nurse and end-of-life doula is making a difference by sharing the tools she has learned.

My guest Gabrielle Elise Jimenez is a hospice nurse, end-of-life doula and conscious dying educator. She is also the author of three books intended to teach others how to provide care to their own dying loved ones. She talks about the tools she feels are most important for caregivers to learn and she also shares information about her Facebook page that exploded with new members when people started posting about their grief. Learn more about her books and courses at her website:

www.thehospiceheart.net

Get her books here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Gabby ended up becoming a hospice nurse and an end-of-life doula
  • The tools needed to care for a dying loved one at home
  • How to help families with grief in hospice
  • How Gabby tapped into the huge need for grief support that exists in our world right now
  • Advice for healthcare professionals who need to recognize their own grief
  • How to stay in balance while doing emotionally challenging work
  • The impact of COVID on hospice workers
  • 3 things everyone should know about death and dying
  • How to live our best lives by recognizing that we will die one day

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! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 317 It’s Your Funeral! A “Fun” Guide to Planning for the End with Kathy Benjamin

Learn about a helpful and humorous workbook for funeral planning.

My guest Kathy Benjamin is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on various sites including Uproxx, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket, and Cracked.com. She is the author Funerals to Die For and the recently released It’s Your Funeral: Plan the Celebration of a Lifetime Before it’s Too Late. She shares how she got interested in writing about funerals and some of the fascinating facts she’s learned over time about the importance of funerals throughout history and across all societies. We also discuss her set-by-step guide to creating a great funeral. Connect with Kathy at her website:

www.KathyBenjamin.com

Get It’s Your Funeral here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Kathy got inspired to write two books about funerals
  • How she did research for the topics in the book
  • Why funerals are important and how it helps to plan one in advance
  • Some of the components of a good funeral to consider in your planning:
    • Venue
    • Funeral roles
    • Theme
    • Eulogy
    • Burial options
  • Interesting funeral traditions from around the world
  • Challenges for funeral planning during the pandemic
  • Why It’s Your Funeral could be a good humorous gift for a milestone birthday
  • How to use the book to get started on planning your funeral now

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Follow Kathy on social media:
    • Facebook: facebook.com/kab18
    • Twitter: @KathyBenjamin

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! Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 309 A Neurosurgeon’s Lessons on Love, Loss, and Compassion with Joseph Stern MD

Learn how his sister’s illness and death made this neurosurgeon a better doctor.

My guest Dr. Joseph Stern is a partner in the country’s largest neurosurgical group practice in Greensboro, North Carolina. While he has frequently worked with patients and families facing life-limiting illness, his experiences at the bedside of his sister during her nearly one-year ordeal with leukemia, changed everything for him. He shares how his own medical practice was affected by what he learned about the patient’s perspective on end-of-life care and how he envisions our medical system needs to shift in order to improve the care being offered to all patients. He is the author of Grief Connects Us: A Neurosurgeon’s Lessons on Love, Loss, and Compassion. Learn more about his work at his website:

www.JosephSternMD.com

Get the book here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The shock Dr. Stern experienced when viewing medical care through the eyes of a terminal patient
  • Why he wished his sister’s doctors had discussed her terminal prognosis with her
  • How to balance hope with reality when facing terminal illness
  • The additional lessons
  • he learned as healthcare proxy for his brother-in-law who suffered a brain aneurysm
  • The definition of “emotional agility” and why it should be taught to all medical students
  • How to improve empathy and communication skills for medical providers
  • Why palliative care should be started much earlier for all patients facing potential life-limiting illness
  • How Dr. Stern has changed his own approach to patients in light of what he has learned
  • How empathy and compassion can actually prevent burnout for medical providers rather than cause it

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! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 307 Life.Death.Whatever: We All Know How This Ends with Anna Lyons and Louise Winter

Learn how an EOL doula and funeral director in the UK have teamed up to creatively shift the conversation around death and dying.

My guests Anna Lyons and Louise Winter are the creative team behind the popular Life.Death.Whatever initiative to redesign the dialogue around death and dying. Anna is an end-of-life doula and Louise is a progressive funeral director in the UK. They share how their partnership has allowed them to address the full spectrum of end-of-life issues from terminal diagnosis to the dying process to after-death care and bereavement–all of which are beautifully covered in their newly released book We All Know How This Ends: Lessons About Life and Living from Working with Death and Dying. Learn more at their website:

www.lifedeathwhatever.com

Follow on Instagram: @lifedeathwhat

Get the book here

Listen here

This episode includes:

  • How Anna and Louise teamed up to create Life.Death.Whatever
  • The inspiration behind writing this book
  • How they developed two projects for public participation: Five Things and Unsaid
  • Why it is important to create links between end-of-life and after-death care
  • Sensitive or “taboo” topics covered in the book like sex during illness and at the end of life and what happens to the body during decomposition and cremation
  • Why they included COVID in their new book and the importance of acknowledging the pandemic when we talk about end-of-life issues
  • How to submit your own writing for Five Things or Unsaid
  • The most surprising things they’ve learned about life through working with death

Eat the gelato – especially if it’s salted caramel.”

from We All Know How this Ends by Anna Lyons and Louise Winter

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Submit your Five Things or Unsaid writing to submissions@lifedeathwhatever.com
  • Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this link
  • Support your local bookstore by buying my books on Bookshop and Indiebound: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying and The Journey from Ego to Soul
  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!

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! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 300 Training EOL Educators to Change the World with Michelle Pante and Reena Lazar

Learn why and how to become an EOL Educator through a new program offered by WillowEOL.

My guests Michelle Pante and Reena Lazar are co-founders of Willow End of Life Education and Planning and co-authors of 7 Tools for Making Sense of Life & Death, the workbook and the self-study online program. They have also created the Willow EOL Educator™ Program, which we discuss in this interview. They share the importance of providing education to both the public and healthcare providers in order to change the way we manage the end of life and to find the greatest meaning in life. They are offering a $200 discount to their EOL Educator™ Program for listeners who sign up before the end of May 2021. Learn more and sign up with the coupon code EOLU200 at this link:

educators.willoweol.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How COVID accelerated the development of the EOL Educators Program
  • Why EOL education is so important right now
  • What inspired Michelle and Reena to create this program
  • Who can benefit from becoming a Willow EOL Educator
  • What the program includes
  • How participants can tailor their own workshops using Willow’s materials
  • How this program augments other training programs and does not compete or preclude any other system

To change the world we need a global network of heart-centred, end-of-life educators.”

Reena Lazar and Michelle Pante

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! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 283 Reshaping the Future of Advance Care Planning with Patty Burgess, Fred Mirarchi MD and Sheila Schultz

Learn about video advance directives and how to get involved in this game-changing innovation for the future of advance care planning.

In this episode I host three guests – Patty Burgess, Dr. Fred Mirarchi, and Sheila Schultz – who have partnered together to create MIDEO University, the only organization to train and certify Advance Care Planning Educators (ACPE’s) in every community. They share how MIDEO’s video advance directives are revolutionizing end-of-life and emergency care in hospitals and how they are training doulas, advance care planners and other healthcare professionals to become paid educators using the MIDEO approach. Learn more at their website:

www.YourVoiceDirectives.com

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What MIDEO is and why Dr. Mirarchi was inspired to create a video advance directive
  • How Patty and Sheila became inspired to partner with Dr. Mirarchi to create an educational program for end-of-life doulas and other healthcare professionals
  • How MIDEO works and what differentiates it from other advance directives
  • How certification as an ACPE can benefit an end-of-life doula professionally
  • Why advance care planning should not focus solely on end-of-life scenarios
  • Why video directives are important during this time of the COVID pandemic
  • How an ACPE can benefit primary care health providers in their work with patients
  • How to participate in MIDEO University and become certified as an ACPE

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! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 262 Vital Decisions: Innovations for Advance Care Planning with Tracy Brubaker

Learn how an innovative company is contracting with insurers to educate patients about decision-making around advanced illnesses.

My guest Tracy Brubaker is the COO of Vital Decisions, a company founded by Dr. Jessica Zitter to focus on changing the way people with advanced illness receive care by encouraging advance care planning. She shares how Vital Decisions contracts with insurers to provide education and counseling to their clients and the impact they are having on end-of-life care. Learn more about Vital Decisions at the website:

www.vitaldecisions.net

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What inspired the creation of Vital Decisions
  • How Vital Decisions works with insurers to educate their clients and guide them through advance care planning at no cost to the patient
  • Why Vital Decisions chooses Masters level clinicians as their team members
  • How team members initiate and structure conversations about end-of-life issues
  • The two most common motivations for people to decide to complete their advance directives
  • 60-70% of Vital Decisions clients complete their paperwork and have conversations with the important people in their lives
  • Benefits to patients and insurers: fewer inpatient and ER visits, less unwanted aggressive treatment, and lower costs at end of life
  • How the My Living Voice program helps healthy individuals easily complete an advance directive online at no cost
  • How the Guided Living Voice program educates patients and their families about palliative care

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!

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! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 256 The Live Well Die Well Tour: Death Education Meets the Road with Kimberly Paul

Learn the inside story of this groundbreaking tour across America to promote conversations about death and dying.

My guest Kimberly Paul last appeared on End-of-Life University 2 years ago as she was preparing to embark on a courageous adventure: traveling across the US in an RV and teaching and talking about death and dying with people she met along the way. Today she returns to the podcast to share her inside stories of the Live Well Die Well Tour and the lessons she learned on her extraordinary journey. She is also the host of Death by Design Podcast and the author of the book Bridging the Gap: Life Lessons from the Dying. Learn more at her website:

www.deathbydesign.com

Listen here:

The Live Well Die Well Tour with Kimberly Paul

This episode includes:

  • What inspired Kimberly to create the Live Well Die Well Tour
  • How she planned and prepared for her journey
  • The ups and downs of a 2-year road trip in an RV
  • Stories of Kimberly’s memorable experiences on the journey (including a special tow truck driver)
  • How COVID-19 impacted her journey
  • How she hopes to use the stories she’s gathered from across the country to inform Congress about changes needed to improve end-of-life care in the US
  • What’s next for Kimberly in her quest to make a difference in how we approach death and dying

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! Your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 242 Death Care at Home and at a Distance for Families and EOL Doulas with Merilynne Rush

Learn about important resources for caring for loved ones and patients at home and far away.

My guest Merilynne Rush is a former hospice nurse who now practices as an End-of-Life Doula mentor, Home Funeral Guide, Green Burial Educator, Death Cafe host and more. Merilynne joins me today to talk about safe practices for home funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic, how to stay connected to our ill and dying loved ones, and she offers many resources for eol doulas at a distance, as well. Learn more at her website:

www.thedyingyear.org

Listen here:

Death Care at Home and at a Distance

This episode includes:

  • What a home funeral consists of and why consider one now
  • Home funeral resources:
  • How to conduct a safe home funeral during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The option of live-streaming Virtual Wakes, Visitations, or Funerals
  • Tips for staying connected to our loved ones at a distance
    • Legacy projects
    • Leave written instructions for distributing possessions after death
    • Voice recording of messages for loved ones
    • Window visit
    • Technology
  • Why early hospice admissions are important for hospital and long-term care patients
  • Tips for EOL Doulas to stay in touch with patients when visits aren’t possible (download handout below)
  • Why Advance Care Planning is essential right now
  • Advance Care Planning facilitator training

Other 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! Your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 228 Training End-of-Life Doulas for the World with Suzanne O’Brien RN

Learn how you can get involved (for free) as a host for World Training Day and spread the word about how to care for people at the end of life.

My guest today is Suzanne O’Brien RN, hospice and oncology nurse and the founder of Doulagivers.com. She discusses how end-of-life doulas will change death and dying now and in the future and how she started World Training Day in 2019 to meet the needs of communities around the world for end-of-life training. Learn how you can get involved this year and host an event on 4/20/2020. Get more information at the World Training Day website:

www.worldtrainingday.org

Download Suzanne’s handout:

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What is an “end-of-life doula”
  • Why death is not a medical experience but a human experience
  • How EOL doulas can help with the current and future caregiver shortage
  • 3 levels of training for doulas
  • How advance planning leads to a good end of life
  • How EOL doula training is useful for everyone, including teachers, navigators and hospice workers
  • Online training available for level 1 doulas through Doulagivers.com
  • Why presence is one of the greatest gifts we can give to patients at the end of life
  • How to get involved (for FREE) in World Training Day on 4/20/2020 – anyone can be a host; sign up by January 20, 2020
  • Where to host a WTD event and how you can benefit from being a host
  • The ripple effect of planting seeds about end-of-life issues

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 Patrons: Joyce Miller, Megan Carmichael, and Lynn; your contributions make all the difference!