Addressing barriers to providing optimal end-of-life care

Physicians providing care in the community and long term care (LTC) facilities in Alberta, Canada, were interviewed to determine what they perceived as barriers and facilitators to providing optimal end-of-life care.1 Among their concerns, they reported motivational barriers related to families, citing the family’s lack of knowledge about frailty, unrealistic care expectations and expressions of […]

Comfort Basket For The Caregiver

In the palliative care books, Integrating a Palliative Approach: Essentials for Personal Support Workers, and Essentials in Hospice and Palliative Care: A Practical Resource for Every Nurse, I use the image of a comfort basket to refer to non-pharmacological (non-medicinal) items that can help promote comfort and provide support when caring for a person who […]

COVID-19 resource: Recognizing difficult breathing and strategies for supporting comfort

One of the challenges health care providers are facing with COVID-19 is managing breathlessness or shortness of breath in infected patients. For some caregivers and health care professionals, it may not be logical to consider applying palliative care principles and practices for managing difficult breathing when supporting people with breathlessness due to COVID-19. Know that [...]

Preparing for COVID-19 because it IS personal

The COVID-19 virus is coming to a home nearby. How near? And how serious? Even if the curve is flattened, the reality is that people will get sick, and people will die. The deaths could include me or Ted. That is a reality. This morning my dear colleague Elizabeth Dougherty shared an EXCELLENT article, This […]

COVID-19 – living with and facing death

The COVID-19 virus is coming to a home nearby. How near? And how serious? Even if the curve is flattened, the reality is that people will get sick, and people will die. The deaths could include me. That is a reality. This morning my dear colleague Elizabeth Dougherty shared an EXCELLENT article, This Pandemic is […]

Reflections on “social hibernation”

As the world responds to the COVID-19 virus, as travel and group gatherings are discouraged and conferences are cancelled, Ted and I are hibernating. There could not be a better time for us to be called “closer to home”. We are so grateful that we were able to hold Geordie’s funeral at a time when […]

A personal note of reflection

NB: This is a personal note, shared in a professional space. Thank you for the notes, emails, thoughts, calls and concern shared since we notified you of the death of our son last month. I was concerned that some newsletter recipients might feel that it was too personal to share, but I am such a [...]

Cuidar con compasión: es difícil ser familia

Cuidar con compasión: es difícil ser familia Escrito por Kath Murray  Se ha escuchado decir a las personas involucradas en el cuidado de las personas en vías de morir: Cuidar a la persona moribunda es fácil; lo difícil es cuidar de la familia. El punto a recordar es que las personas responden a la muerte [...]

Providing Compassion—It’s Hard to be Family

Written by Kath Murray People who are involved in palliative care often say, “Caring for the dying person is easy. It is caring for the family that is difficult.” Of course, it is easier or simpler to care for an unresponsive person than to care for a group of people who have come together to […]