Do You Get It Now?

Many years ago as I sat through my first hospice orientation, I participated in an activity that was aimed at enlightening us to the fact that we were all entering our hospice patient’s lives at a time when the world as they knew it was becoming smaller and smaller. The exercise was supposed to get…

Should You be Worried That Your Loved One is Seeing Dead People?

No. This is actually quite common among those who are actively dying. Seeing dead loved ones or other unseen beings in the room oftentimes has a calming effect on the dying person in my experience. Generally, the dying person makes comment on seeing someone not for validation, but rather to inform. I once walked into…

Making the Most of Each Visit

I met the greatest family one time when their mother had come to the hospice house for a brief stay to manage some pain issues she was having. Their mom had been diagnosed with cancer two months earlier and given six months to live. At the time I met her she was doing well, able…

Terminal Restlessness

It is not unusual to see an increase in confusion and restlessness in the final weeks leading up to death. Suddenly your loved one is agitated, paranoid and uncooperative. A very different view of how most normally expect a dying person to behave. Not every patient will go through this stage, but for those who…