Care at End of Life – The Story of John D and the Angels

End of lifeHow many of us consider that many of the older adults we care for are in the last years of their life? How many of us realize our ability to positively impact their life? How do you envision the last years of your life? I don’t know many people who purposely say, “I want to be as miserable as possible the last couple of years before I die.”  How many people want to end life alone, isolated, in poor health or without the companionship of others?  Not many, yet it happens.One day all of us will take this journey, we can’t avoid it.In our daily work with older adults, how can we support those already on this journey?

Many times it’s the little things that make a difference; whether we’re supporting the older adult or the families who care for them.Family caregivers easily wear out and lose patience, just as we wear out and lose patience if we, as professionals, don’t take a break from caregiving situations.As professionals, we’re able to support those for whom we provide care by seeing them as a fresh face, as a person deserving of our undivided time and attention.We have the ability to preserve their dignity even in embarrassing and uncomfortable situations.

If you’ve settled into a rut at work or the days and weeks seem to be passing by, let me offer a little inspiration to re-charge your batteries.A few weeks, an amazing man, John, a client for whom I was power of attorney, passed away.He brought joy into the life of everyone he met.I hope his story will inspire you to bring joy into the lives of those for whom you provide care and acknowledge that by working together we make a greater impact during the last days, weeks or months of their lives.We can do this by acknowledging that those, for whom we care, deserve the opportunity to receive care in an environment that preserves their dignity and personal desires.That they deserve the choice to experience services and opportunities we may not along offer but services and opportunities offered by our colleagues.

We can only hope those caring for us at the end of our lives will do the same for us.Turn up your computer speakers and to listen to John’s story.

©2013 Pamela D. Wilson, All Rights Reserved

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