Demystifying Hospice : Inside the Stories of Patients and Caregivers
by Clayton, Karen J.

1 First Visits by the Social Worker
2 Hospice Care at Home
3 Caring for the Caregiver
4 Hospice in a Place You Call Home
5 Finding Meaning
6 Dramatic Challenges
7 Social Isolation
8 Saying Goodbye
9 Remembering
10 Mixed Feelings about End-of-Life Care
11 Making Good End-of-Life Decisions
12 Reflections
Appendix A Ways to Make a Limited Life More Pleasant for the Patient and the Caregiver131(4)
Appendix B Selected Bibliography135(2)
Appendix C Suggested Reading137(2)
Appendix D Glossary, Terms, and Abbreviations139(8)
Appendix E Helpful Websites147(4)
Appendix F Films that May Help Discussions of End-of-Life Issues151(2)
Appendix G The Differences between Home Health Care, Palliative Care, and Hospice153(2)
About the Author169

Hospice care helps make the end of life the best it can be, yet the experience can be both rewarding and stressful to those involved. Karen Clayton’s stories address end-of-life choices, palliative care, mixed feelings about hospice, care for the caregivers, managing dramatic incidents and fear, social isolation, saying goodbye, and remembering.

Karen J. Clayton is a social worker and sociologist. Her writing interests focus currently on demystifying hospice to encourage patients, caregivers and other family members, educators, and administrators to better understand the practical workings of hospice and to use it in a timelier manner. Clayton is an active member of the Oak Harbor Writers Group, and the American Association of University Woman, Island County, Washington. She taught sociology and cross-cultural communication at the University of Texas, Tarrant County Junior College, Southwestern Adventist University, and La Sierra University, where she was also the Education Curator for the Stahl Center Museum of Culture (Riverside, CA).

"Hospice is extraordinary!" With this opening line, Clayton, a social worker and sociologist, declares her advocacy. In what she calls "a gentle book about a difficult subject," she spells out the benefits of compassionate care for people who can't get more "curative" treatment, or who don't want more of it. Clayton explains that the word hospice comes from the same root as hospitality, and in medieval times, hospices were places of rest and shelter for weary travelers. She also talks about finances. Medicare and Medicaid cover six months of care. Yet in 2016, the average length of stay for the 1.43 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in one of the 4,382 Medicare-certified U.S. hospices was just 72 days. About a third of hospice patients waited until the last week of their lives to use these centers. Clayton offers useful advice, including good tips on how to make last days more pleasant for both the patient and caregivers. Deepened by Clayton's feeling that it is an honor to find ways to help people say goodbye to their loved ones, this guide is invaluable. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

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