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Hospice-Proven Techniques for Healing Body and Soul

By Douglas C. Smith

Paperback, 222 pages
Published by MacMillan General Reference
Publication date: September 1, 1997
ISBN: 0028616634


This is one of the best books we've found on ways to improve the quality of compassionate care for people who are dying. The author, a hospice director, has been responsible for the care of thousands of people over the past ten years.

Overall, the book is a remarkable achievement, with a perfect blend of "how to" material held together within an ethical framework that we endorse wholeheartedly.

The book's premise is that people who are dying have certain rights, and that caregivers can learn specific techniques to promote those rights. Each chapter discusses a specific right and gives several practical and proven caregiving methods built upon that right. Moving stories of real people complement each chapter.

The book is intended for non-professional and professional caregivers: family members, friends, nurses, hospice volunteers, social workers, counselors, clergy, and anyone else concerned with the quality of care of people who are dying. The sheer number of caregiving ideas in this book makes it a must-read item for hospice professionals. Useful tools are too numerous to list and include needs assessment methods, role definition checklists, several different life review tools, guided meditations, family support checklists, and much more.

A constant theme is that caregivers must learn how to respond to the needs of the dying, not the other way around. We particularly like the book's inclusive language and the respectful way it recognizes the social, religious, and ethical diversity of those who are dying. The chapter on "The Right To Explore The Spiritual," for example, finds ways to affirm the deep desire that many people have to discuss spiritual issues without pushing any particular religious or theological ideas. The book is laced with quotations and wisdom from many different spiritual and cultural traditions.

We strongly encourage you to add this book to your caregiving toolkit.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Patient's Bill Of Rights
1. The Right To Be In Control
2. The Right To Have A Sense Of Purpose
3. The Right To Know The Truth
4. The Right To Be Comfortable
5. The Right To Touch And Be Touched
6. The Right To Laughter
7. The Right To Cry And Express Anger
8. The Right To Explore The Spiritual
9. The Right To Have A Sense Of Family
10. Conclusion

December 1997 Growth House newsletter feature

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