Thursday, June 28, 2012

Peaceful Passages (book review intro)

Peaceful Passage by Kim West
Kim West / Peaceful Passage
ISBN-10: 0984052666  ISBN-13: 978-0984052660 | List Price: $16.99 | Format: Softcover | Page Count: 240

"When your loved one is dying at home you need emotional support and guidance, caregiving help and lessons, organization assistance, an expert adviser and a cherished friend. Peaceful Passage is all of this and more.
From first hearing the news to well beyond the funeral you will keep this resource close by you to give you answers at three in the morning, for encouragement every day and for detailed information on what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Here is guide for you to care well for yourself, your dying loved one, your family, marriage, career and in your spiritual life. 
This book is a labor of love from a professional counselor who cared for her own mother in her final days. One hospice described the book as, “An exceptional tool and resource for anyone assisting a loved one going through their final journey. A delightful, heartfelt, open discussion of processes, tips and things to ponder when traveling with them. Well done, and I applaud you. Thank you from all of us.”

Author, Kim West
About the Author:
Kim West holds a PhD in Clinical Pastoral Counseling and a M.Div. in Counseling and Family, but when her own mother became ill with terminal cancer she found that she had no hands-on knowledge of how to take care of her.
As a counselor she knew to journal her own experience to help her process her grief at losing her mother and she knew how to help her mother finish her life well and be prepared for the life to come. But the day-to-day of taking care of her mother as she died would require learning a whole new set of caring skills. And learn she did.
After completing her own journey with her mother she knew she had to help others who would travel this same path. Peaceful Passage is a merging of her years of counseling experience and the new skills she learned caring for her mother combined with her heart to help and to heal."

"Authors note: Peaceful Passage is not only for those under hospice care with a terminal illness or for those caregiving a loved one who is dying at home. It is also the essential resouce for coping with any long-term illness, whether it be grandma or grandpa, mother or father, a child, sister or brother or self.
With Peaceful Passage you have immediate help any time you need it right at home. Whether you want a quick answer or detailed instructions on handling the many physical, emotional, and spiritual issues that arise you can find answers immediately in this resource.
Doctors, nurses, caregivers, hospice workers, hospital and nursing home staff and family members alike will find this an indispensible guide to understanding what is needed in times of illness or palliative care and exactly how to help. Included is also extensive information on grief and the grieving process in order to cope with the losses that come along the way.
Peaceful Passage is a comforting and supportive expert friend when you need it most."

Personal Note:  My husband's mom is 89 years old and had colon cancer surgery a couple of years ago and we could not take care of her in our home (after she had one year of in-home care around the clock right after her surgery and my husband was still working and I cannot physically meet her needs).  So we made the decision with HOSPICE to have her cared for at a nursing home that is about 5 miles from our home.  She has been there for a year now and they are just wonderful with her care and needs.  We take homemade treats and beautiful homemade items and used to scrapbook and make cards when her hands were more steady.  We now read to her a Christian book that is very comforting with a daily reading for every day of the year.  A Hospice "friend" comes to visit her weekly and a Hospice volunteer musician comes once a week and they sing hymns and folk songs... things that she knows and makes her happy.  

In November she will be 90 and it's imperative that we prepare ourselves for losing her at any time.  We finally took a week off for vacation this year because they told us that we needed time to ourselves to have fun and we were only 1 1/2 hours from her and that they would call us if they needed anything.  Everything went well and we were energized.  I will read this book and do a review on it for a Christian review group that I'm in and then my husband will read it or we may read it together during the day or night.   

The nursing facility is just incredible and the Hospice people are the best.  We're so happy that we made this choice with her (we all talked about it before we did it) and even though I had feelings of guilt for not bringing her here (she's been my best friend and "mom" for 18 years now) I learned from Hospice that we just couldn't do for her what she needed.  I'm at peace now.  I haven't lost anyone in my family yet (since I was in high school and lost my grandparents) so this book will definitely prepare both of us as my parents are in their 80's.  Both are quite healthy, praise God! 


John Mullin said...

I'm more than half way thru this book, and can say that even though it is directed at home care there is a lot of information that still relates to my Mom who is in a nursing home. Thank you Carolyn for buying this book.

Diane said...

This sounds like something my parents could use.

They took in my moms cousin who had breast cancer that spread through her whole body. She moved in because she couldn't find a place that would take her pitbull and they had only given her a year or so to live. That was about 7 years ago and she is still fighting hard and working full time. She has good days and bad days but she says working keeps her busy and gives her something to do - she is a nurse in a doctors office.

This year my mom also took in her brother who has lung cancer and emphsema. He is considered mentally retarted but does work at the front desk of a nursing home at night. He can drive and cook basic meals but has trouble reading and understanding "doctor speak" to my mother has always helped take care of him after their parents passed. The treatments for the lung cancer seem to be working, but they told my mom the emphasema will kill him first probably within a year anyway.

Now my dad has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (cancer of the plasma in your bones) as well as Amyloidosis (amyloid proteins are abnormally deposited in organs and tissues). They seem to think chemo and bone strengthening drugs will help stop everything from spreading, but there is really no telling what could happen.

My mom really needs some help finding strength to care for them, as well as preparing for what is to come!

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