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Reflections on Turning 60, Aging and Hospice Education

A few weeks ago I had the incredible privilege of skiing with my three grandsons up at Mount Washington. This was especially great because I am a beginning skier - and I had a blast! As I made my way down one of the Green (Easy) runs, I enjoyed the fresh snow, breathed in the cool fresh air, and marveled at the snow covered trees.
Being the hospice nurse and the blogger that I am, I found myself composing a sentence, “If all goes well, I get to turn 60 next month ...”
This brought me to think of the many family, friends and people I have cared for who died before they turned 60. I remembered afresh that it is a great privilege to be alive and to be healthy. And I learned in a new way that it is a great privilege to turn 60. And somewhere on the slopes I became excited about entering a new decade.

As I reflected, I realize that I am having more fun at sixty than I had at sixteen! At sixteen, I did not have the courage to learn to ski, to be a beginner, to have lousy equipment and to fall on my face in front of my peers. Last week, as I made my way ungracefully down the mountain, I enjoyed learning, was comfortable being a beginner, renting equipment and falling. I was happy to ski alone or ski with my little guys. With each run I thought of many more things that I appreciated about being sixty - (although I did think that it would be fun to have my sixteen year old body back for a day or two).

Knowing that human beings are 100% mortal beings, knowing that we will all die, helps me to appreciate life and living. I love the name of our company, "Life and Death Matters", because both life and death do matter. One cannot exist without the other.

Last month I wrote a blog about competencies. Did you have a look at my favorite competency documents? I'm quite curious about what you think of competencies, how you use them, and what you find helpful. If you can, drop me a comment on the blog or an email to share your ideas.

This month I am talking about  "How to easily integrate hospice palliative care content into core curriculum." Doesn't that sound great!!
What is the best way to introduce students to death, dying and hospice palliative care?
It's my next blog post and you won't want to miss it. There's a fabulous resource in there that is guaranteed to make your teaching easier.

On another note, this past Saturday Ted and I headed to conferences in Palm Desert, Phoenix and San Diego. We will be so close to Mexico that we decided to take a few days to explore the Baja Peninsula before coming home. So, on March 7th we will celebrate my 60th birthday on a beach in a little community called Los Barriles.
Did you miss one? View the Newsletter Archive

On the Meaning of Love in Professional Practice

Nurses and Health Care Workers learn about relational practice in care giving. Misha Butot researched the concept of love in professional practice. Misha is clear that love in professional practice is not to be confused with romantic love. The principles of love in professional practice reflect characteristics of cultural humility and compassion.   Love is not without boundaries, in fact, love needs boundaries that touch all those involved and that separate those involved. Have a read of the blog posting about love in professional practice.
What are your thoughts? What does this mean in your practice? What might change in your practice as a result of reading about love in professional practice? Do you have concerns about using the word "love" when discussing professional caregiving?
Download free palliative care resources on our website
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April 16 is Advance Care Planning Day

It's less than two months away.
Do you/your facility/your college/your family have plans for Advance Care Planning Day events?
Share your plans with us by email and we'll post them to the blog. They might help inspire others!

There are many resources available for you to get the conversation going.
The following links will take to you free, downloadable resources that you can print to help start the discussion with the people around you.

In Canada, National Advance Care Planning Day is April 16, 2017
In the United States, National Health Decisions Day is from April 16 to 22

According to the Speak Up campaign, "You may never need your advance care plan – but if you do, you’ll be glad that it’s there for you."

Check out our Care Planning Cookies. Delicious treats with a message inside, each one intended to stimulate conversations about living well and dying well.


Conference Calendar

We're currently at the ABHES conference in Palm Desert. Are you there too? Let's meet and talk!
There are many conferences we are attending this spring - check the calendar here.

ABHES Conference in Palm Desert
February 22-24, 2017
Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa
44400 Indian Wells Lane
Indian Wells (Palm Springs), California 92210 USA

Visit us at the exhibit booth.
Take home a bag of "Care Planning Cookies" to your school.

AAHPM and HPNA Conference
February 23-25, 2017
Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ

We are attending February 24-25 and are so looking forward to meeting our American hospice and palliative colleagues. We won't have a booth as we are just able to attend the last few days. Contact me to meet for a cuppa!

California Organization of Associate Degree Nursing Program Directors
March 1,2,3, 2017
Embassy Suites in Downtown San Diego
Visit us at the exhibit booth!

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario Conference

April 23-25, 2017
Sheraton Parkway Toronto North, Hotel & Convention Centre, Richmond Hill, Ontario
Visit us at the exhibit booth.
Workshop Presentation: Games, cookies and creativity: Addressing the needs of children when caring for adults.
I’m presenting this workshop with a few of the fabulous team from Roger Neilson House, Megan, Kat and Lynn!


Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses

April 25-26, 2017
Delta Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan
Visit us at the exhibit booth
Workshop Presentations:  Palliative Care: Is Every Nurse’s Business, by Katherine Murray

People go to acute care, oncology care and emergency to be cured, fixed and sent home. They go to long term care to receive assistance, person centered and restorative care. Eventually, the statistics confirm that 100% of people die. Where do people die and who cares?
The focus of these two sessions will be to discuss the realities of life and death, look at palliative care as part of the work that every nurse does, identify common patterns of dying, share strategies that will help you integrate a palliative approach in any care setting and increase your comfort and confidence in addressing the needs of the dying person and their families.


College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta

April 26-28, 2017
Grey Eagle Resort and Casino, Calgary, Alberta
Visit us at the exhibit booth
Pre-Conference Workshop: Palliative Care: Every Nurses Business, by Katherine Murray

Summary: Hospice palliative care was developed to best address the needs of the dying person and their family. In Canada, less than 30% of dying persons receive services from a specialized hospice palliative care service. Although most people want to die at home, in reality, most will die with long term life-limiting illnesses, in acute and long term care settings. The purpose of this session is to explore palliative care as “every nurse’s business,” identify best practice interactions, and discuss practical tools and strategies to increase physical comfort and address psycho-social issues. The role of the LPN in responding to requests for Medical Assistance in Dying will also be addressed.
This one-day session is open to all care providers; however, the focus will be on the role of the Practical Nurse and the PN educator.
Link to Registration  Seating limited to 60 participants. Early registration is advised to avoid disappointment


Canadian Association of Continuing Care Educators (CACCE)

May 10-12, 2017
Hotel Fort Garry, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan


CECU Conference

June 6-8, 2017
Las Vegas


Career Colleges of Ontario (CCO)

June 14-16, 2017
Niagara on the Lake

If you would like to connect with me when I am in your area, if you are interested in a visit to your workplace or campus, or if you want to meet up for a cuppa something… please drop me an email

Our Mission
Our mission is to develop educational resources to prepare nurses, nursing students, health care workers and health care worker students to meet the competencies and recommendations to care for the seriously ill person and their family.
We provide support to help educators integrate hospice palliative and end-of-life care content in core curriculum so that nursing students will be better prepared to meet the competencies and recommendations as identified by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and to succeed with the NCLEX exam.

Life and Death Matters texts, videos, podcast library, and newsletters can help you increase your knowledge, strengthen your skills and help you reflect on the attitudes you bring to caregiving. If you are new to hospice and palliative care the resources will provide you with a strong foundation in hospice and palliative care. If you are experienced in hospice palliative care, the resources will help you to support, teach and mentor your colleagues. If you are an educator, the materials will reinforce what you know and help you prepare to teach. while meeting education standards and vocational learning outcomes.
Copyright © 2017 Life & Death Matters, All rights reserved.

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