Learn how video tech is revolutionizing advance directives and about special training for death doulas to become ACP educators.
My guest Dr. Fred Mirarchi is an emergency medicine physician and the principal investigator of the TRIAD Research Series (The Realistic Interpretation of Advance Directives.) He’ll discuss how his research has confirmed that there is a nationwide patient safety risk due to confusion surrounding living wills, DNR and POLST orders. We will also talk about MIDEO, which is a video advance directive and physician’s medical order that improves both the quality and safety of advance care planning, AND his initiative to provide doulas with training to become ACP educators. Learn more at these websites:
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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 Patron: Marnie McCourty. Your contributions make all the difference!
This 4-module course is like having your own personal consultation with an end-of-life physician (me!) who guides you through completing your paperwork one step at a time!
Check it out!
This podcast is sponsored through the EOLU donation page at Patreon.com/eolu. By contributing just $1 or $2 per month you can help support the podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series. If you become a supporter I will happily promote your book, website, cause or organization on a future episode of the podcast! THANK YOU to my latest patron Sylvie and to all current patrons!!
IN THE NEWS:
Facebook announces it will offer employees up to 20 days of paid bereavement leave and 6 weeks of paid leave to care for an ill loved one.
A study done by U of Colorado Anschutz showed that oncologists are reluctant to have conversations with patients about their prognosis and patients seem equally unwilling to discuss the difficult facts about their diagnosis. This demonstrates the need for better preparation for the end of life BEFORE the onset of a life-limiting illness.
Change Happens: How to be Prepared for the Ultimate Transition
What steps should you take now to be fully prepared for later life? I like to break them down into 3 categories: Paperwork, People, and Purpose.
Here are some suggestions for your own preparations:
Make sure you have completed an estate plan and/or will to protect your financial assets
Appoint someone to be your financial power of attorney AND a separate person as your medical power of attorney
Complete your advance directive (or living will)
Plan for your funeral and burial
Gather important documents, account numbers, passwords, etc. into on file where they will be accessible in the future (Check out the BE Ready Checklist for a list of all these documents you should gather)
Tie up “loose ends” in your life by practicing forgiveness
Make amends with the people closest to you
Say “I love you” whenever you have the opportunity
Talk with your loved ones about your healthcare wishes
Talk with your doctors (and also spiritual advisor or attorney if relevant) about your end-of-life wishes
Be prepared to care for an ill or dying loved one at home if that should become necessary
Think about your own sense of meaning and purpose in life–are you living life fully in each moment?
Practice being present in the moment by taking up mindfulness or using deep breathing
Recognize that your purpose is not really something you hope to accomplish in the future; it lies in how you live your life each moment
Face your fear of death so that you can fully prepare and then relax and enjoy all that your life offers to you
Click hereto download the End-of-Life Preparedness Assessment to see if you are ready!
Tune in every Monday for a new episode. Until the next time, remember:
What does it take to have a smile on your face the day you die?
In this episode I pay a tribute to my Mom, Margaret Wyatt, who died 4 years ago in her own home, filled with joy and love. I’ll share the lessons I learned from her death about how each one of us can “Die Happy”!
This podcast is sponsored through the EOLU donation page at Patreon.com/eolu. By contributing just $1 or $2 per month you can help support the podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series. If you become a supporter I will happily promote your book, website, cause or organization on a future episode of the podcast!
Michelle Holmes – who has asked that I promote a favorite cause of hers: The Still Place.The Still Place is a charitable organization providing rest, renewal and re-creation to families living with serious illness in hope of fostering resiliency, empowerment and self-determination. We provide free of charge vacations, uniquely planned and lovingly facilitated for families who find it difficult if not impossible to get away, plan and experience the healing restorative properties of a family vacation. Go to their website at www.thestillplace.org to learn more!
Holly Pruett – who is the founder of Death Talk Project. Death Talk Project organizes workshops, rituals, Death Cafes, monthly movie nights, and other events in Portland, Oregon. Join in for useful, honest conversation about how we die, how we mourn, and how we care for and remember our dead. Holly also created the community event Death OK: Let’s Talk About It and Death Talk Project grew out of that event. Learn more at www.deathtalkproject.com.
A Tribute to Margaret Wyatt
My Mom died four years today, on the day I am writing and recording this episode, and I had the privilege of being at her bedside for the last 5 days of her life. She was happy and joyful and filled with love as she took her final breaths and she inspired me to want to teach other people how to die happy too.
Mom was in very frail health for the last 5 years before she died and had become housebound as a result. She only left her home a handful of times during those years, but she received help from a friend with grocery shopping, housework and laundry.
Believing that she was going to die soon, Mom set about to plan and prepare for her own death, though she didn’t realize then that she would live for 5 more years. She created a Living Will (using Five Wishes), planned her funeral and burial (and paid for them), and gathered together all of the financial, insurance, and estate documents that she thought my brother and I might need after her death.
She also talked about her own death, her end-of-life wishes, and how she imagined her own dying process. She made sure that both my brother and I knew what she wanted at the time of her death: to be in her own home, in her own bed, with me at her side providing care. And that is exactly what happened when she died. Her wishes were fulfilled because she had thought about them, planned for them and talked about them.
Mom was happy when she died because she was ready to go. She wasn’t afraid to die and felt that she had lived a full life. There was nothing left undone in her mind and she was looking forward to leaving her tired and painful body behind when the time came. Her death was happy, peaceful and beautiful because of the way she lived her life. Here are some of the lessons I learned from her about how to die happy:
Believe in something bigger than yourself. Mom always devoted her time to being of service to others. In her last years of life she spent every afternoon praying for people from the comfort of her reclining chair.
Have a daily spiritual practice.
Prepare for and talk about death. As already mentioned, Mom was ready in every possible way for her own death.
Let go of attachments. She freed herself from some of the burden of material possessions by giving things away to her visitors for 5 years.
Make amends with the past and with other people.
Be satisfied with life just as it is.
Make the most of whatever you have been given.
My Mom is dearly missed but I am comforted by knowing that she was happy when she died. Her beautiful death inspired all of the work I have done in the past 4 years with End-of-Life University, Death Expo and this podcast. I’m passionate about helping everyone find a way to die happy! I wish you could have met her ….
This interview is with Paul Malley, President of Aging With Dignity, a national non-profit organization that created the Five Wishes document for recording end-of-life preferences. In this interview you will learn:
-Why, how and when you should create an advance directive
-The most important question addressed by an advance directive, especially Five Wishes
-How to talk to your loved ones about your wishes at the end-of-life