More and more families are squarely addressing the impending death of a loved one rather than treating it as something best not spoken of. Following are some new materials'”guidebooks, brochures, videos, and a Web site'”to help caregivers and the dying plan ahead and make the most of their remaining time. Many of these resources are from Last Acts, a campaign to improve end-of-life care.
A good place to start is the Last Acts Consumer/Family Resources for End-of-Life Care, a comprehensive resources guide to help family caregivers better care for those facing the end-of-life. The guide contains information from numerous organizations offering a variety of caregiver resources, including books, videos, Web sites and brochures. Each entry offers the resource title, producing organization, and information about how to order the item. The guide is available free of charge and copies can be ordered by sending an email to LastActs@aol.com. Or, download the guide in PDF format by going to: http://www.lastacts.org:80/files/publications/familyresources.pdf
Last Acts' Family Committee has developed a series of five free pamphlets to assist individuals confronted with the care of those facing the end of life. The 'Loss and Grieving' brochure series offers valuable information about grief geared toward five different audiences: caregivers, the elderly, health care providers, and children. The series is available free of charge and copies can be ordered by sending an email to LastActs@aol.com. Include name, postal mailing address, a phone number, the number of copies you would like, and the words 'Tips Brochure' in the subject line. To view the brochures in PDF file format and order them on the Web, click here.
The Center for Humane and Ethical Medical Care (CHEC) has created a 15-minute video called, 'Who Will Speak for Robert: The Importance of Having an Advanced Medical Directive.' The video is designed to stimulate discussion about advanced directives. The video comes in response to the recent court case involving an incapacitated man, Robert Wendland, and the difficulties his family faced deciding on his course of medical treatment. For more information and ordering details, contact Poonam Bhatla at the CHEC by phone at (310) 319-4189 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the case leading to this video and to download an order form, go to: http://www.finalchoices.calhealth.org/advance_directive.htm
Last Acts Partner Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) recently released an instructional video designed as a companion resource to its autobiographical workbook, 'A Guide to Recalling and Telling Your Life Story.' This workbook provides a series of questions and exercises designed to assist users in remembering their lives, allowing space for answers to be entered directly into the book. The video companion offers additional insight and practical suggestions for those who wish to tell their life story. The 20-minute tape also contains personal reflections from hospice clients who have found great value in sharing their lives with those they love. For information, go to the HFA Web site at: http://www.hospicefoundation.org/publications/guide.htm
Beyond Indigo is a Web site that focuses on death, dying, grief, loss and caregiving. On the Web since 1996, the site offers visitors grief tools and access to advice columns and articles related to grief, grieving, death and dying. Visitors will also find an active chat area to discuss death and dying issues with others. Beyond Indigo was recently listed by Forbes Magazine as Best of the Web for the death, dying and grief community for the second year in a row. To visit Beyond Indigo, go to: http://www.beyondindigo.com/index.php