Helpful Books about End-of-Life Care and Death
More people than ever are preplanning cremation services in Phoenix, AZ, so even though they may be younger, relatively healthy, and very much alive, their minds are already looking forward to the end of their lives and their deaths.
If you haven’t yet thought about the end of your own life or your death, you may want to ease into the subject by reading some books that are considered by palliative and hospice care staff, as well as well-known end-of-life care educational organizations like The Conversation Project, to be some of the best ever written on the subject.
One book is Katy Butler’s The Art of Dying Well. Butler’s focus is on maintaining a high quality of life from health to death. It is a practical guide, with detailed preparations, to ensure that whatever time you have left to live is the best that it can people.
Butler, a seasoned journalist who was also the caregiver for both of her parents, discusses things like successfully aging in place, why older people should choose younger doctors (hint: they’ve been in school more recently than your current doctor, so their knowledge is more up to date), when not to call medical emergency services, and how to make your death another passage in your life, not simply a medical event.
How We Die, by Sherwin B. Nuland, is an award-winning book that looks at how little dignity there is in modern death. Nuland, a surgeon, witnessed death frequently in his chosen profession. He maintains, in How We Die, that the current medical system’s treatment of dying and death works against most people in their quest to achieve a good death. The lucky few who experience a good death are just that – lucky.
Nuland wrote, “I have not seen much dignity in the process by which we die. The quest to achieve true dignity fails when our bodies fail.” His purpose for the book was to explain death to everyone and make the process of dying and death itself less mysterious and more understandable. Nuland felt that if the fear of death is removed, then people would take greater care and have reasonable expectations about their end of life care.
Another book that is quite instructive about the end of life and death is David Kessler’s The Needs of the Dying. While we often think about the needs of the living as they watch a loved one die, we often don’t recognize that dying people have needs to be met as well.
Kessler focuses on several areas of need that dying people have including, treatment with respect and dignity, honesty, hopefulness, participation in their care, expression of emotions, spiritual support, and freedom from pain.
The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care, by Angelo E. Volandes, revolves around communicating end-of-life healthcare wishes and making sure that medical professionals, family members, and the person who is aging or dying are all involved in a fluid and responsive communication loop that has everyone on the same page at all times.
Volandes, a medical doctor, urges honest and open communication between medical professionals and their patients and between patients and their family members about what they want and don’t want in terms of medical care at the end of life.
If you want to know more preplanning cremation services in Phoenix, AZ, our compassionate and experienced staff at Simply Cremations & Funeral Arrangements can help. You can come by our funeral home at 16952 W Bell Rd., Ste 303, Surprise, AZ 85374, or you can contact us today at (623) 975-9393.