For more than two decades, hospice nurse Maggie Callanan has tended to the terminally ill and been a cornerstone of support for their loved ones. Now the coauthor of the classic bestseller Final Gifts passes along the lessons she has learned from the experts—her patients. Here is the guide we all need to understanding the special needs of the dying and those who care for them.
From supporting a husband or wife faced with the loss of a spouse to helping a dying mother prepare her children to carry on without her, Callanan’s poignant stories illustrate new ways to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of this difficult and precious time. She brings welcome clarity to medical and ethical concerns, explaining what to expect at every stage.
Designed to be your companion, resource, and advocate from diagnosis through the final hours, Final Journeys will help you keep the lines of communication open, get the help you need, and create the peaceful end we all hope for.
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Callanan (coauthor, Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying) has worked for more than 25 years as a hospice nurse; here, she aims to offer the dying and those close to them practical advice grounded in that experience. Interspersing stories from her work and life, she examines such topics as potential family conflicts, ethical dilemmas faced by health-care workers, and the various stages of the grieving process. She emphasizes that the terminally ill should be listened to with care and compassion and that their right to comfort should not be overlooked in sometimes futile attempts to prolong life. She also stresses the need for early discussion of end-of-life issues and the documentation of any decisions reached. The advice is unblinking and useful, but it is surrounded by an excess of fairly artificial re-created dialogs. Further, some readers might find the forays into subjects like afterlife communication to be at odds with the goal of providing useful and practical advice. Dennis McCullough's My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing "Slow Medicine," the Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Onesoffers similar information. Recommended for large public libraries.