Resources

Web Resources

Not intended as an exhaustive list, but rather a starting point to get you where you might want to be.  If you find a good site someplace, please let me know via the ‘Contact” page of this site.

Advanced Planning:

www.Assuringyourwishes.org      Free Advance Directives.   Mostly the ‘paperwork’ / legal issues like: Health Care Proxy, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Long Term Care, Assisted Living, etc.  A bit of an oxymoron, don’t you think?

www.SacredDying.org   delightful

billmoyers.com/series/on-our-own-terms-moyers-on-dying/   Like all of Bill Moyers, this video series is illuminating, provocative, and VERY easy to watch alone, or with a group as a discussion starter.   “There is a great divide seperating the kind of care Americans say they want at the end of life and what our culture currently provides.  Surveys show that we want to die at home, free of pain, surrounded by people we love.  But the vast majority of us die in the hospital, alone, and experiencing unnecessary discomfort.”  

http://www.caring.com/               Good, short articles about EVERYTHING pertinent but nothing in depth; more of a Digest to point you other places.  A good directory for finding Senior Living Facilities, etc.

http://longtermcare.gov/  Surprisingly helpful, and easy to navigate government site.  Having worked in Long Term Care Nursing and Advocacy, I find this site a great reference tool for figuring out what services Medicare, Medicaid, and other insurances pay for.

http://www.agingwithdignity.org/   will find “The Five Wishes” document; very well used.

www.OKtoDie.com  extensive planning and preparation help.

 

Various Perspectives on Dying:

http://http://www.ted.com/talks/  Many great presentations.   Some favorites – “Let’s Talk About Dying” by Peter Saul.   “What Really Matters at the End of Life”  by BJ Miller

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/?8qa     Fascinating, very readable, and informative articles.  High in my book.

The Order of the Good Death.com   I love finding treasures like this one!  Initiated by a Mortician and sustained by a cadre of younger (than me anyway) Artists. Yes, this is quite the Artistic site, with pictures and excellent essays.  I was actually a bit startled at my first look.  It’s very well done!

 Stephen Levine, Author.           One of the great heroes in dying and death circles. A large library of publications and, naturally: A Year To Live: How to Live This Year As If It Were Your Last.

 

Spirituality:

http://www.gratefulness.org/         An absolutely pan-cultural web site.     Besides, what could be wrong with gratefulness?  Great Library of articles, videos, etc.  Try it, it’s worth it.  If you only do ONE thing,  watch the video titled “A Good Day”:  http://www.gratefulness.org/brotherdavid/a-good-day.htm  .  It’s a special treat, over and over again.

A Coach:  May I encourage you to keep an always open mind regarding seeking a psychologist, Social Worker, Spiritual Life Coach, or other mentor with whom you feel comfortable with talking about personal stuff.  It’s a great help in seeing other perspectives and ‘blind spots’ we have about ourselves.  Keep your self open to meeting the right person. Also, it isn’t a permanent relationship – it’s on your terms.

 

Medical Decision Making:

www.choosingwisely.org             Medical Professionals providing information, discussions, decision making issues.  Physician/ Patient/ Family Communications tools. Includes lists of tests and treatments that are available for many needs.

www.PatientsLikeMe.com      Large on-line community; full of information regarding many medical conditions, signs & symptoms, conventional medications, treatments, side-effects of medications and treatments.

www.NPR/Shots       Podcast about a whole gamut of health /medical related news and info: your health; treatments & tests; the health system; policy-ish; and public health.

www.Medscape.com      Intended for Medical Professionals, but it is very accessible for research about traditional and emerging treatments.  A lot about managing pain and side effects of meds; covers most ‘practice specialties”.

www.MayoClinic.com   EXTREMLY respectable source.  Fantastic Patient Resources.  I have used this site frequently for accessing good information for my patients that MD’s and RN’s, in hospitals and offices, don’t get to explain well.  Ex.: easy to read and follow a diet for Diverticulosis / Diverticulitis;  what does it ‘mean’ to start Dialysis?, etc.

www.Deathwise.org   Conversation Starters, People Stories, and an excellent Blog.  A non-profit “committed to helping people talk about, make decisions, and plan for the end of their lives.

www.drugwatch.com  A convenient site to visit for current info on the most common treatments, drugs, and lawsuits.  Not all inclusive but a great start.

 

BOOKS

“So Much For That” by Lionel Shriver    Here’s a link to a review of the book from The Washington Post.  More briefly, it is one of those stories that covers a huge field of challenging and controversial issues with a light heart floating above the lead weighted shoes our lives sometimes feel like.    Glynis & her husband are meeting with meeting with the oncologist to discuss the illness and treatment options. The doctor says “committing to a specific doomsday date is like going to war and choosing ahead of time the the day on which you plan to lose.  In medicine just as in the military, it’s a positive attitude that gets results.”   And we are and running on an adventure extraordinaire.  You may even experience stuff you’ve never experienced before, or noticed anyway.  One of the reasons I read so many novels.  Smile

“Then We Came To The End”  by Joshua Ferris

Review:

“In this wildly funny debut from former ad man Ferris, a group of copywriters and designers at a Chicago ad agency face layoffs at the end of the ’90s boom. Indignation rises over the rightful owner of a particularly coveted chair (‘We felt deceived’). Gonzo e-mailer Tom Mota quotes Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the midst of his tirades, desperately trying to retain a shred of integrity at a job that requires a ruthless attention to what will make people buy things. Jealousy toward the aloof and ‘inscrutable’ middle manager Joe Pope spins out of control. Copywriter Chris Yop secretly returns to the office after he’s laid off to prove his worth. Rumors that supervisor Lynn Mason has breast cancer inspire blood lust, remorse, compassion. Ferris has the downward-spiraling office down cold, and his use of the narrative ‘we’ brilliantly conveys the collective fear, pettiness, idiocy and also humanity of high-level office drones as anxiety rises to a fever pitch. Only once does Ferris shift from the first person plural (for an extended fugue on Lynn’s realization that she may be ill), and the perspective feels natural throughout. At once delightfully freakish and entirely credible, Ferris’s cast makes a real impression.”Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
As always – great character development.  And a small quote: “There was freedom in starting over because nobody knew yet if you were crass, arrogant, stupid, powerful, fake, preposessing, double-crossing, or a good person all around. You could reinvent yourself.  Wasn’t that part of the promise of America?”
by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen.  Illustrated by Taylor Bills.  Beautifully Illustrated book and applicable for a very wide age-range.  It’s a very comforting book.  It is Soul Food.  Or as my Grand daughter says “there’s food for the body and there’s food for the soul”.  Comfort food.   The link takes you to Grief Watch.com which has additional resources as well.
Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul  – A you tube short by author Stephen Jenkinson. Highly recommended so one can hear the cadence with which he speaks.  It made reading the book more intimate and textured.
One Summer  by David Baldacci  –  One of those ‘wow’ surprises. Picked up because it looked different from his usual genre, and it was.  A power packed quick read that keeps me remembering.

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