My mother has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, with a prognosis of months. Once again I am a family caregiver.
At Life and Death Matters we create resources to help educators teach hospice palliative care principles and philosophy in core curriculum for Practical Nurse and Health Care Worker students. Our goal is to enhance the ability of the caregivers to provide excellent care for the dying. Our education strategies include blogging, tweeting, and facebook postings.
Since her diagnosis a month ago I have asked “What do I share?” “What do I not share?” “How do I write about this experience while maintaining privacy and space for us (family) to be real and not worry that whatever we do or say will be in the public domain?”
My plan as of today…
In the coming weeks and months I may share a few lessons that we are learning from wonderful professionals, resources that we discover and use, reflections on philosophy and principles of palliative care.
Although I will be authentic, I will not “share it all”. I will protect the privacy of our family, friends and care team. This will allow us all the space to be human.
So today I simply announce my “status update”- I am a family caregiver.
Kath Murray, RN, BSN, MA, CHPCA(C) is the Director of Life & Death Matters (www.lifeanddeathmatters.ca). She brings 25 years of hospice palliative care experience and 15 years of teaching hospice palliative care skills, strategies and understanding to professional, para-professional and volunteer caregivers.
Visit Family Caregiving for People at End of Life for more information about caregiving and for Kath Murray’s updates.