"The Conversation" is a series of open, honest discussions people have with their families and loved ones to share their fears, hopes and wishes for their final days. These talks happen over days, weeks, sometimes longer. They give people a chance to express their love, their regrets, their apologies, their parting words of advice or forgiveness. They seem to be essential for a peaceful, happy death. But they can only happen if we are able to admit t...
The most common regrets were ‘I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me’, 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard', I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings’, I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends’ and ‘I wish that I had let myself be happier’.
While some family members, friends or care coordinators may cease frequent visits to terminally ill patients due to grief, despair and other reasons, simply being present in the same room can be an extremely soothing experience for patients
In the Economist film shared here we see - at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in north-west England - Michael being cared for by Dr Peter Kirkbride, who is pioneering a new approach that gives patients a greater say in their end of life care.
Parents understood dementia could descend on the children, erasing their memories and thrusting them into episodes of anger and tears. They could lose the strength to run, then to walk, then to crawl. These would leave the parents with an agonising choice: Tube-feed their children, or let them die.
Her parting words to Dr. Harmala were, “Do not ever let anyone suffer unnecessary pain. For this is how cancer wins”. Despite everything she has to endure, Dr Harmala calls Sumita a fortunate one because she’s well aware of the fact that in India only 0.4% of the patients who require pain relieving medication get access to it. While others have to spend their final days suffering with excruciating pain.
The sad fact is that we frequently don’t know how to best care for the old. Treatments rarely target older adults’ particular physiology, and the old are typically excluded from clinical studies. Sometimes they are kept out based on age alone, but more often it’s because they have one of the diseases that typically accompany old age. And yet we still end up basing older people’s treatment on this research, because too often it is all we have.