THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Why Using Hospice Doesn’t Mean You’re “Giving Up”

None of my own family members have ever been in hospice care, but our son Nick has been on palliative care for some time now. We support Nick’s decision not to have any more surgery or invasive procedures to correct the effects of his disabilities. Between 2006 and 2011, we lived in London, England. During ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Why Using Hospice Doesn’t Mean You’re “Giving Up”

None of my own family members have ever been in hospice care, but our son Nick has been on palliative care for some time now. We support Nick’s decision not to have any more surgery or invasive procedures to correct the effects of his disabilities. Between 2006 and 2011, we lived in London, England. During ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: HOW TO CARE FOR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IN HOSPICE

I am pleased to host this guest post by my colleague in caregiving and writing, Katherine Arnup.  Katherine is a hospice volunteer who has a lot of personal caregiving experience.  Here, she writes about caring for someone she knew in hospice for the first time when she was volunteering. Anyone who wonders about how to ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: HOW TO CARE FOR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IN HOSPICE

I am pleased to host this guest post by my colleague in caregiving and writing, Katherine Arnup.  Katherine is a hospice volunteer who has a lot of personal caregiving experience.  Here, she writes about caring for someone she knew in hospice for the first time when she was volunteering. Anyone who wonders about how to ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: HEALED, IF NOT CURED – WHAT A GOOD DEATH LOOKS LIKE

This morning I was scrolling through facebook when a friend’s post caught my eye. Eric Fischer is a disability Dad whose son is palliative and very complex. I always read Eric’s sensitive and searingly personal writing – you may remember that I reviewed his book of poetry here. Today Eric shared a TED talk, “Healed ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: HEALED, IF NOT CURED – WHAT A GOOD DEATH LOOKS LIKE

This morning I was scrolling through facebook when a friend’s post caught my eye. Eric Fischer is a disability Dad whose son is palliative and very complex. I always read Eric’s sensitive and searingly personal writing – you may remember that I reviewed his book of poetry here. Today Eric shared a TED talk, “Healed ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Balancing Love, Vulnerability and the Right to a Doctor Assisted Death

In the United States, news is dominated by the pre-election primaries.  But in Canada, headlines are about how my country should operationalise a Supreme Court ruling on physician-assisted suicide.  The Supreme Court’s ‘Carter Decision’ found that:  Section 241 (b) and s. 14  of the Criminal Code  unjustifiably infringe s. 7  of the Charter  and are of no force or effect to the extent that ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Red Book That Is So Wonderful

There’s a red book that’s been sitting on my desk for months.  It’s one of many that have been sent to me for book reviews.  That pile got smaller recently when I came to the cottage for a summer break of reading and relaxing.  I wish I had read this book sooner, because it has ...

OPSEU Diablogue: Pro-rating funding for PSW wages creates unintended consequences

In 2010 a provincial coalition of experts was assembled to look an integrated hospice palliative care system in Ontario. Hospices are a specialized residential facility for palliative care patients. As the coalition’s report states, “hospice palliative care is a philosophy … Continue reading →

Musings on Canadian Politics: Quebec at forefront of right-to-die movement

The Quebec National Assembly introduced a bill on Wednesday that will allow health professionals to use medical procedures to end the lives of patients near death who are suffering and want to end their lives. The legislation “is intended for people at the end of their life to die with autonomy and dignity,” said Veronique ...

calgaryliberal.com: Why I Run

When Redford’s Conservatives cut persons with developmental disabilities programs, I can only look on aghast as funding for my three handicapped siblings is cut. When Redford guts palliative care nurses I can only remember caring for my grandmother, an ex-nurse who spent more than 40 years in the profession, who died last year vowing never to live in ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Five Tips for Surviving Caregiving

A few weeks ago, I travelled to Vancouver to address a family association and also to give a talk about how we use Tyze Personal Networks to coordinate Nick’s care.  I’ve written extensively on Tyze before, but for the uninitiated, Tyze is a software platform enabling a single, secure conversation about support for a vulnerable ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Right to Give Care to Someone You Love

Recently, I spoke on the telephone with another writer who six months ago, lost her beloved mother to cancer.   Christabel Shaler writes a blog called The Ethical Hustler for the Vancouver Observer and here is how she described her mother in one of her posts there: We grew up in a basement suite beneath ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Constipation, a Kidnapped Diplomat and an Enema

My husband is a retired diplomat.  A colleague from the service, Bob Fowler, had the terrible misfortune of being kidnapped in Mali and wrote a book about his awful experience called “A Season in Hell”.  Bob tells a story in his book (and one recounted in even more vivid detail at our dinner table one ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: "God’s Little Joke" – A Tragic Story

I guess I am used to witnessing pain, so I do not cry easily.  But this morning I read an article from “Psychology Today” that made me weep silently, my stomach in knots.  Titled “The Cyclops Child” and written by a retired MD, it tells the story of this doctor as a young man (fifty ...