Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Saga Magazine are letting their readers down!

I find it quite strange that Saga magazine who target  audience are over 50 years of age,  do not publish anything on end of life or palliative care.
They believe their readers 'don't especially want to think about it until they have to'.  They encourage their readers to say  ‘if something happens to me’ rather than the preparation for the inevitable ‘when’.
They are letting their readers down by not considering the implication that  lack of forward planning will have on their end of life,  or the potential impact it will have on the family.
They  advocate informed choice in all aspects of their lives and yet ignore the importance of informed choice at the end of their lives

Thursday, 22 September 2011

BMA Awards for my book End of Life the Essential Guide to Caring

 Well the big news was that my book End of Life the Essential Guide to Caring was Highly Commended at the BMA Books Awards and also Highly Commended for the BMA Science Award for the Understanding of Science which surprised us somewhat. Apparently ‘This guide impressed the judges with its practical focus and sympathetic style’ anyway I’m not complaining!
 I have been effectively out of work since the government cutbacks, its bad news for me but also for all the carers who are not getting the training and support they need when working with people with dementia and end of life.
 Frustrating is an understatement.
 In the meantime I qualified as a Bereavement Counsellor and am volunteering with Cruse Bereavement Charity.
Will also be writing another book. I'm back to blogging!
Watch this space!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

We always try to comfort those in distress

When we know someone is in distress our immediate reaction is to comfort them, perhaps to tell them that things will get better, it won't always feel this bad.

Often  we try to 'fix' them, and ask them if they have thought about X, Y or Z.

However, if we really want to comfort someone who is distressed, we could allow ourselves to listen, without judgement, without trying to fix them, without looking for ways we feel they could improve their lives.

 An empathetic ear is the greatest gift we can offer -  and we have two to spare.

Monday, 21 February 2011

A passion for life and living - can keep you alive and living!

I have just returned from a short holiday in a warmer climate.

 There I met a man who has cancer and was given six months to live - seven years ago.

He said when he was told he only  had months to live he went to the beach every day and cried.

After a while he decided that  instead of crying in the sea he would start to swim in  it  and he would swim out so far  that  maybe he wouldn't be able to come back.

Instead of that he found a passion - for the sea and for swimming.

For the last seven  years he has  spent hours swimming whenever the sea conditions permit -  and he makes sure that he is able to get back to the shore.

His passion has not only fuelled his desire to live but it has given him a quality of life he never knew before.

Without a passion we are living. But are we really alive?

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Children and funerals

I was on the BBC Sussex radio last week talking about children going to funerals - the question was put to me whether they should be allowed to go or not.

Half the country seems to be talking about this since it became a subject of conversation on the Archers.

 I said of course they should. Children have a right to say goodbye to the person who has died, they have a natural acceptance of death if they haven't been influenced by the adults surrounding them.

Of course you cannot force children to go if they don't want to - but should allow them if they do

 I said we cannot protect our children from losing people they love but we can protect them from the complications that will arise if they are not able to say goodbye.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Ten days into 2011 and I have celebrated a 21st birthday party, a 60th birthday party and Dawn's return  to her family.
 All causes to rejoice.
 At each occasion I have felt unusually emotional.
Perhaps as I witness more and more sorrow and loss it makes me appreciate the happy  and joyful moments more. 
We should not forget to celebrate the happy occasions, make the most out of each and every one of them.
So we can retrieve those precious memories when we need them.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year new journeys

A New Year.

365 new journeys ahead.

We don't know where this year will take us, and perhaps it is better that way.

Some of us will have a different voyage and won't be here to celebrate the beginning of the next year.

Wherever your journey takes you,  I hope that it is one that is accompanied by people that you love and people that love you.