Are you involved in caring for people at the end of their life? Do you have a role in supporting the families of those who are dying, or is this an area of your work you find personally difficult?This book is an accessible guide for all those working in health or social care and caring for people at the end of their lives. This will include people in roles such as healthcare assistant, hospice worker, volunteer, nurse or other carers.
Written by experts with extensive experience in delivering high quality end of life care, this book is full of real life examples, reflection exercises and case studies. It also includes insights into what can help make a good death, and how to help support families at the end of life.The easy to read chapters emphasise treating people who are dying with dignity using a person centred approach.
The book supports the delivery of quality care by recognising physical and non-physical symptoms, and thinking about various emotional and physical needs people might have. It is also important that care givers look after themselves and advice is given on how best to do this.
An essential purchase for anyone looking for guidance or support in this area, and suitable for those working in the community, care homes, hospices, hospitals or other settings where people are cared for.
With a Foreword from Dr. Ros Taylor, MBE, National Director for Hospice Care, Hospice UK.
"The book strikes a balance between the factual and the personal, and gives the reader detailed information and time to think through reflection exercises. It highlights essential elements of end of life care, including communication, symptom management and personal care during bereavement. It emphasises the importance of adopting a person-centred approach of people who are dying. The book supports the delivery of quality care by recognizing the physical and non-physical symptoms, and thinking about people's emotional and physical needs. It also makes clear that caregivers should look after themselves and how they should do so."
Deborah Preshaw, doctoral nursing student, Queens University Belfast, UK
"This is a beautifully presented learning tool to support the delivery of end of life care. I particularly like the `signposts' which reinforce the intention of the book to enable `carers' to apply what they read to their role in practice."
Liz Bryan, Director of Education and Training, St Christopher's Hospice, UK
"This book is a very welcome addition to the literature on end of life care, as it does exactly what it says - it is a practical guide. It is written by an inter-professional group of clinical experts who have managed to create a concise, accessible resource which would be perfect for carers, volunteers, Health Care Support Workers or health care student working in any clinical setting who wants to make a difference for individuals approaching the end of their lives.
The book addresses all of the important aspects of care at this crucial time, including attitudes to death and dying, communication issues, common physical and psycho-social symptoms, and care in the last hours of life. The case studies of three individuals are threaded throughout the book and are an excellent way to illustrate theoretical content and demonstrate its clinical application.
The glossary of terms is particularly useful for a non-specialist audience, as are the resources for further reading. I particularly welcome the use of `signposts' to different activities at key points which encourage the reader to reflect and apply the knowledge to their own situation.
I highly recommend this book to any individual who wants to develop their confidence and competence in this challenging, but critically important area of care."
Mick Coughlan, Programme Leader, The Royal Marsden School, UK
"I found the chapters easy to read and the link to a case study really brought the words `to life'.
The chapter on self-care was helpful - this is an area hospice managers are having to focus on in detail as our staff strive to maintain the high levels of quality care hospices are renowned for with compassion and dignity .
Giving emotional support throughout a shift to patients, families and colleagues can lead to a feeling of `exhaustion' and `fatigue', which if not recognised and addressed leads to time off sick and a feeling of being 'powerless' for staff .
Healthcare professionals must recognise this as well as their managers, who then need to provide different levels of interventions that staff can access - as described in the book.
I think all palliative care libraries should have this book on their shelves and perhaps it could be a `core' reading book for training. I also used it on the ward to discuss with nurses - it's not that what is written is necessarily new but it is well written, concise and relevant.
I feel this book would be very useful for those new to palliative care as well as those studying the subject. Relating theory to practice is always powerful and for new nurses and other healthcare professionals this provides context and meaning."
Clodagh Sowton, Director of Patient Services, Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care, UK
"This is a welcome book to the field of end of life care. This practical guide is accessible and is an excellent bridge between the `Lay Person' and those health care professionals caring for the individual as they approach the end of life.
The authors present their subject areas in a most readable and engaging style. While reviewing the case studies (which are weaved throughout the whole book); you feel they have come from experienced carers who have had `lived experiences' of end of life care. This therefore, makes the chapters much more relatable and applicable to practice and real world life.
This is also a personable book and I would recommend it to health care professionals and lay persons alike- who need to address or who may require further insight into the realms of:
Physical/psycho-social symptoms, communication challenges and differential perspectives on dying and death.
Finally, I will also be directing students of healthcare towards this impressive, insightful book."
Robert Murphy, Senior Lecturer - Adult Nursing, London South Bank University, UK
"The material covered is very helpful and the range of authors has been well selected from individuals who are active in clinical practice. The book is practical and clear, and Clair deserves high praise for the contribution it will make to clinicians seeking to improve their palliative care knowledge and skills."
Professor Max Watson, Medical Director Northern Ireland Hospice, Visiting Professor University of Ulster, UK