What is Estate Planning, Why Does it Matter?

by Stephen P. Astrup, JD Estate planning helps you manage and document many important decisions to ensure they are carried out after your death, including wishes for your finances, health care and property. It may seem daunting, but it’s a worthwhile process that can make life easier for you and your loved ones. Research suggests …

Celebrating Holidays When Your Loved One is Ill

by Heather Larson, LSW, CT Holidays are typically a joyful time filled with celebrations, gatherings and merriment, but it can be a stressful and emotional time when a family member or someone close to you is dealing with an illness. My family and I were in this situation in 2017 when my beloved grandpa was …

Respite Care: What is it & Why Should Families Use it?

by Renda Brooks, LPN Caregiving is a labor of love, a commitment that’s often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—nights and weekends included. The responsibilities and constant demands of care, especially when caring for someone who is facing end of life, can take a toll on even the best and strongest caregivers. We …

Refocusing Perspective Amid COVID-19

Times are uncertain, and with that comes questions: How long will this last? Will I be able to be with my loved one when they take their last breath? Will I stay healthy? The list goes on, and sometimes, there are no answers. Many things are out of our control. Rather than focus on what …

When Eyes Speak

by Janna Kontz, MDiv Have you seen many smiles lately? Think about that. In the age of the mask, have you seen many smiles? At first glance—and first thought—you might say, “Well, no, I can’t see people’s smiles because they are covered with a mask.” Yes … well, but if you think about it, you …

7 Tips to Help You Provide Dignity While Caring for Another Person

by Renda Brooks, LPN Dignity is a basic human need; it’s our sense of self-worth, respect and esteem. Preserving dignity in another person means respecting their whole self and caregiving in a way that respects their preferences and individuality. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a caregiver is to know you’ve provided dignified …

5 Conversations to Have When a Loved One Nears the End of Life

by Ruby Gramlow, RN During my time as a hospice nurse, I’ve witnessed many of our patients take their last breaths. Many times, when someone is surrounded by those they love and their wishes are honored, there is a great sense of peace when they pass. It’s beautiful to witness.   I’ve also noticed similarities, from …

Signs & Symptoms of Pain

Signs & Symptoms of Pain at End of Life

If you or your loved one has a terminal illness, managing your pain is a high priority. Pain can be many things to many people; it can be described in many ways. People most naturally tend to think of their physical pain, but pain can also be emotional and spiritual. Physical pain can be caused …

How to Support a Friend Who is Ill

by Kriston Wenzel, LBSW, CT It’s hard to know exactly what to do when a friend is facing an illness. You can feel stuck in how to “be” around your friend—not knowing what to do or say, or if you can even help. You also may have many questions about his or her illness that …

country road

Advance Care Planning: It’s the Right Thing to do for your Family

At the age of 68, Terry’s father had suffered two heart attacks. Terry had approached his father about discussing the need for a last will and testament and if he had thought about pre-arranging funeral plans. “I immediately got shut down. Back then, the mentality was ‘let’s not talk about it because maybe it will …