Interviewed by Helen Morris “The Beautiful Side of Grief” podcast EP#48 - Questions You Need to be Asking

Uncategorized Sep 24, 2022

Interviewed on “The Beautiful Side of Grief” podcast. EP#48 “Questions You Need to be Asking”

Some of you know that after retiring from active medical practice, I started working with family caregivers not to just survive but to thrive.

For you, the family caregiver, grieving is an unavoidable part of your journey. And yet, it can be a most valuable part.

It was an honor for me to be interviewed by Helen Morris for her “The Beautiful Side of Grief Podcast”. Her own personal experience uniquely prepared her to help you and others find your cloud’s silver lining.

Please tune in to EP#48 - “Questions You Need to be Asking” on her podcast at You can also go to Episode 48 on the web at

And don’t forget to check out her other guests who share their wisdom, experience, and hope around this rich subject of grieving.

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"It Depends" and why CaringEnd?

doctors family caregivers Aug 23, 2022

"It Depends"

Some time ago, I was caring for a 94-year-old gentleman. An active senior, he lived alone in his small home, doing most everything for himself. Basic self-care tasks like eating, bathing, grooming, and getting dressed were not obstacles. Except for shopping and housekeeping, but he managed his money, medications, and cooking.

One day, I made a visit with the goal of documenting his advance care plan. So, I asked him, “If your heart should suddenly stop beating, would you want everything done? 

After a thoughtful moment, he replied: “It depends.” 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It is a personal one and varies from individual to individual. Even in the same individual, one’s answer to “Depends on what? “And “When is enough enough?” evolves as age and health change over time. My struggle with this question birthed an idea for the project I now call CaringEnd. 


Why I started...

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Your loved one with dementia living with you says, “I want to go home!” Now what?

family caregivers Aug 23, 2022

 She can’t live alone anymore  

So, your mom couldn’t live by herself anymore.

You found her medicine bottles under her bedroom pillow, and she couldn’t remember putting them there. She once was a really good cook - and proud of it. But you caught her trying to fix a TV dinner in the oven with the plastic wrapper still on.

A child of the Great Depression, she was careful with money and a planner. But time came where you couldn’t reach her by phone. Scammers kept her landline and cell phone tied up while convincing her to hand over thousands of dollars. And she didn’t want you in her financial affairs.

You decided to take her in to your home. Over her protests, you managed to move her a week ago, a month ago, maybe even a year ago.

Since then, you’ve done everything you can think of to make her feel at home. You brought what furniture and belongings you could that would fit in your space. You changed your routines and those of your...

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3 tips - You CAN overcome your patient's reluctance to have advance care planning conversations

doctors Jan 17, 2022

The challenge: 

Starting end-of-life advance care planning conversations with our patients can seem daunting. Tight, overbooked schedules, demanding workloads, and even lack of training are some of the barriers. 

Another barrier: our patients’ ambivalence - even reluctance - to have end-of-life advance care planning conversations. 

Interestingly, I’ve found that both doctors and patients alike confuse advance care planning conversations with delivering bad news conversations. 

Here are 3 tips to help.  


Tip #1: encourage patient readiness.

We clinicians can take comfort. Most of my patients were pleased, in hindsight, when I made the effort to discuss elements of their end-of-life advance care planning in a routine, supportive, and sensitive way.

Surprise: I discovered that this discussion itself encourages readiness and openness when handled in a supportive and sensitive way. 

For example, you notice Mr. Arnold’s...

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Talking about End-of-Life Care & Revitalizing Clinical Practice

doctors Mar 17, 2021

Vamshi Gunukula of DirectShifts, a physician staffing company, interviewed me on 3/4/21. We discuss a variety of issues that primary care doctors face, from end-of-life advance care planning to changing models of care, the role of healthcare informatics to thoughts about potential new opportunities.

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