Hospice nurse and author of the new book, Some Light at the End, shares her experience caring for her mother on hospice, and offers guidance for anyone navigating this complicated — yet much needed — system of care and support.
She also addresses anticipatory grief, and the guilt many of us feel after supporting someone we love deeply at the end of life.
Hospice is a service that provides physical and emotional support for someone who is in their last six months of life. Hospice is a comprehensive team of support personnel that includes family members, healthcare workers, a social worker, chaplain, and a bereavement specialist. A nurse will come in and check on the patient multiple times a week to make sure their pain and symptoms are being managed and the patient is as comfortable as possible. A social worker and bereavement specialist can help you and your family members with some of the tough questions that come along with end-of-life care.
Beth's new book, Some Light at the End, details helpful strategies for those whose loved ones have a terminal illness or have recently died. She can speak to:
- Mental wellness: Strategies to counteract anxiety, panic, and depression while living in hospice care for both those dying and their loved ones.
- Handling grief: Lessons from a hospice expert who has seen countless people through grief, and tips for your personal journey.
- Hospice 101: While in the early stages of illness, it's impossible to research all of our options. Beth details the questions we don't even know we need to ask and how to advocate for ourselves.
- Mobilizing: Hospice care happens at lightning speed. Beth details each step to save us from becoming overwhelmed and stressed.
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About Beth Cavenaugh
Beth Cavenaugh is a certified hospice and palliative care nurse and educator with over 14 years of experience in caring for terminally ill patients. She has been a registered nurse for over 24 years and holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from Creighton University. Beth has supported hundreds of patients and their families at inpatient units, in home settings, and behind the scenes in hospice care. Compassion, patient autonomy, and transparent communication are at the core of her care philosophy. Beth hopes to demystify death and dying so this powerful moment will be embraced as a normalized and celebrated life event. She continues to work in hospice and has a private reiki practice to support physical, emotional, and spiritual healing for adults and teens. Beth lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon, where they have (almost) successfully finished raising their three kids. Learn more at BethCavenaugh.com.