There's a quiet revolution happening in the way we die. More than 1.5 million Americans a year die in hospice care--nearly 44 percent of all deaths--and a vast industry has sprung up to meet the growing demand. Once viewed as a New Age indulgence, hospice is now a $14 billion business and one of the most successful segments in health care. "Changing the Way We Die," by award-winning journalists Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel, is the first book to take a broad, penetrating look at the hospice landscape.
"Changing the Way We Die" is a vital resource for anyone who wants to be prepared to face life's most challenging and universal event. You will learn:
-- Hospice use is soaring, yet most people come too late to get the full benefits.
-- With the age tsunami, it becomes even more critical for families and patients to choose end-of-life care wisely.
-- Hospice at its best is much more than a way to relieve the suffering of dying. It is a way to live.
Winner of the 2014 Independent Publisher Award Silver Medal in Aging/Death & Dying
About the Author
Fran Smith teaches GCSE English and English as a Foreign Language. Before becoming a teacher she worked for the Probation Service for ten years. Her first job after school was on the Buckinghamshire Advertiser, where, among other things, she wrote wedding reports and the People and Pets column. She lives in a village at the edge of the Fens.
Joan Halifax, PhD, is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Director of the Upaya Institute. She received her Ph.D in medical anthropology in 1973. Her work for forty years has focused on engaged and applied Buddhism, with an emphasis on end-of-life care and programs for prisoners and the environment. She has served as visiting faculty and lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions throughout the United States and abroad. She is a Board Member and Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute. The author of many books, including Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death, Dr. Halifax founded the Project on Being with Dying.
"Changing The Way We Die is different from other end-of-life books in that its case studies are of real people - not composites - and that it sets the hospice movement in context, addressing its history and development in America."
-San Francisco Examiner
"Changing the Way We Die: Compassionate End-of-Life Care and the Hospice Movement should be required reading for physicians, nurses, and anyone else-professional or volunteer-who provides care to those who are dying."
"Nobody wants to die badly." With that opening line, cowriters Smith and Himmel proceed to persuasively explain why no one should ever have to. . Smith and Himmel provide inspiring stories about patients, families, physicians, and the entire hospice experience.
"Two excellent journalists write about the history and the modern ways of the hospice movement."
"As a former hospice volunteer, I am thrilled to recommend Changing the Way We Die. Finally there's a spotlight on a crucial conversation which has the potential to reduce the suffering of millions of people at the end of life. A must read for anyone with elderly parents as well as those who want to be choiceful about their own lives."
-MJ Ryan, author of Attitudes of Gratitude, The Power of Patience, This Year I Will....
"This beautiful book opens the lid on one of the most important treasures in our lives-how we can change the way we die. The book reminds us that we often can choose to enter the embrace of hospice, with its deep roots in the heart of compassionate care. Hospice in the United States has been a movement as well as a practice. Dedicated, sensitive professionals and volunteers bring love and care to those who are facing death, in their homes, hospital rooms, and freestanding hospices. The words of patients and hospice people that fill Changing the Way We Die reflect great wisdom and self-honesty."
-Joan Halifax, Ph.D, author of Being With Dying
Hospice is one of the truly humane innovations in our culture, and Changing the Way We Die not only shows why, it demonstrates the importance of treating death as part of the great mystery and privilege of being alive."
-From Sue Halpern, author, A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home
"There is nothing to be afraid of, within the pages of Changing the Way We Die, but there is a great deal to be learned. Using compelling stories about people from all walks of life, this book offers a preparatory primer for people contemplating the final chapter of life for themselves or their loved ones. It will also help those who struggle to understand the medical care that their loved ones received in their later days. And it provides a calm and persuasive case for greater compassion toward people who are seriously ill, and those who care for them. If you invest a few hours in reading this book, it will help you avoid months of suffering for people you love in the days to come."
-Stephen P. Kiernan, author, Last Rites: Rescuing the End of Life From the Medical System
"As one of the first volunteers with the San Francisco Hospice, as someone who speaks at hospice conferences on a regular basis, and, as someone whose wife died when there was no hospice care, I know about the hospice arena. I also know that this book is a gem in that world. With information about the hospice movement and personal heartwarming stories from providers, patients and their families, this insightful book will convince you that hospice is not about giving up but about getting the best, most compassionate care. A must-read for anyone dealing with end-of-life issues.-
Allen Klein, MA, CSP, author of Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying: Embracing Life After Loss