practical guidance for dignified care through end of life
I became an unlikely expert and learned that "short is the new black."
My expertise is derived from the full-time care of my parents, one with Alzheimer’s, for whom I delivered the care and end of life that my parents desired.
A principle quoted by a variety of experts states that it takes 10,000 hours of “practice” or experience that pushes the skill set to the brink to achieve mastery in any field. My experience puts me well over 12,000 hours of "practice" through learning and experiencing. Does it make me an expert? Yes, on what I experienced.
It is highly likely that during your lifetime you will be responsible for the care of another person, possibly with Alzheimer's, and just as likely that it will be during the final years and days of that person’s life. I offer you the opportunity to thrive throughout the process, to think and then to take action.
During my experience, I found that I needed information quickly. There are hundreds of books and organizations offering pieces of the information. Between not knowing where to look, what terminology to use in questions and searches, and having too little time to read through all of it, I was overwhelmed and lost.
I needed a guide: a clear, concise and usable quick reference. With that in mind, I have adopted the philosophy that “short is the new black” – it is not the volume of words but the value of them that is useful; that providing you with lists and bullet points, things to consider and questions to ask, and leads to follow is the most helpful delivery of information.
In short, I became an unlikely expert; I have lived, from within the trench, what I am sharing. The result is Comfort in their Journey, consisting of a three book series, presentations and workshops and consulting services.
* Living with dementia
* The walk to the end of life and beyond
* Navigating the maze of care options and decisions
The Comfort in their Journey Book Series
The three volumes which comprise the Comfort in Their Journey series are somewhat of an encyclopedia of caregiving. It was written by Trish Laub as a result of her experiences caring for her father who suffered from Alzheimer's. The series embraces every aspect of family caregiving, from the practical to the emotional, from diagnosis through death, and how Trish and her sisters aided their mother, the well spouse.
A Most Meaningful Life tells the story of a daughter’s journey through Alzheimer’s disease with her father, from her initial awareness of his diagnosis to navigating his care and helping him achieve the good death that we all deserve. It is the story of how Alzheimer’s affected her father’s life and the lives of those who loved him, as well as the story of her family’s successes and failures throughout the journey. With her family’s efforts, creativity and desire to preserve their father’s quality of life for over a decade, he continued to truly live a meaningful life through his final days.
Through the story of her journey, the author offers a new perspective, the determination that even with Alzheimer's, the possibilities are limitless. With a clear philosophy and the creation of a strategy, others can have a roadmap to navigate their loved one's journey so that they have "A Most Meaningful Life."
The topic “no one wants to talk about,” end of life and beyond, is exactly what Peaceful Endings addresses. Many times the end of life is preceded by illness and caregiving, and may also include a variety of crises, as life changes and decisions must be made quickly. Whether proactively preparing for the end of life, or facing it imminently, there are medical, legal, financial, insurance and care decisions to be made, each with its own specific language. The author walks the reader through the terminology, the choices and the process of the end of life. The author also details what must be done after the transition, and provides perspective on stepping into a new normal after a loved one’s life has ended.
Through the Rabbit Hole is exactly the reference book that the author needed for quick access to information during her experience providing care for her ill parents. It wasn’t available for her, so she has written it for all the families and caregivers who are now beginning their journeys. Her parents’ medical crises caused her to fall down the rabbit hole and into the maze of unfamiliar options and decisions. Having emerged from the maze, the author details the complexities of hiring caregivers, selecting facilities, patient advocacy, as well as the medical, legal, financial and insurance aspects of care. With the end goal of compassionate and dignified care, this book, a wonderful companion to A Most Meaningful Life, is a beacon through the maze of care.