The Power of Presence - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

The Power of Presence

Just had to share a great read- “The Power of Presence” by Doug Manning. Have you ever wondered what to say to someone in pain? Many of us are faced with this situation due to a friend getting a divorce, a family dealing with a child out of control, a loved one diagnosed with cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, someone close is dying, etc.

This book is a great resource for difficult situations we face everyday. Doug Manning discusses the needs of people in pain, how to be a “safe” person, and how to help people heal. He encourages readers to “get into people’s buckets” in order to discover the issues they are dealing with and how to listen to their pain.

, , , , ,

Related Posts

The Power of Listening with Full Attention

folder_openInspiring Stories, Working at Heart 'n Home
commentNo Comments

I recently saw this quote:

“We don’t listen so that we can understand. We listen so we can reply.”

The main purpose of my spiritual care visits is to listen.

  • Listen with full attention.
  • Listen for emotions.
  • Listen for needs.
  • Understand what it might be like to be in their situation.
  • Understand that I do not have the power to “fix it.”

Many of us get tripped up with trying to “fix” a situation, a person, or a feeling. Our thoughts are moving around solutions, advice, and our own perspective of what we are hearing.  Recently, after spending time with a patient I told her that I wished I had a magic wand to wave over her to fix everything.  She smiled and laughed. We both understood the inability for anyone to “fix” the situation. She told me how much I had helped her, and at first I wondered what I had done; until my spirit reminded my mind about the powerful influence of listening with full attention.

Simply telling our stories can be healing.  Often I will hear strength in a story while the storyteller is unaware of the meaning and significance of what they have endured.  Having our stories validated and our faith affirmed is like a “magic wand,” for it can provide the understanding that we are not alone, and we may hear strength in our voice that we did not realize we had.

Katy E.
Spiritual Care Provider
Caldwell Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care


Gratitude for the Gift of You!

“And me, I got what I wanted. I died with my life around me. Isn’t that what any of us would ask for, to be fully in our lives as we leave them, to have been ourselves all the way first? This is the gift…” Excerpt from “Heaven’s Coast: A Memoir” by Mark Doty

If you’ve recently gotten news that a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has chosen hospice services, you may be thinking, “isn’t the decision for hospice about giving up hope and waiting to die?” No, it does not mean that, not at all. In the words of Mark Doty, “this is the gift.”

Hospice is about life and living, not death and dying. Hospice brings quality of life and comfort to patients and their families. Hospice enables patients to live fully to the end, to die “with their lives around them.” In a nutshell, hospice is a patient and family support service that keeps the patient comfortable, teaches the family to provide care, and offers emotional and spiritual support.

At Heart ‘n Home, a team of Physicians, Nurses, Social Workers, Bereavement Counselors, Spiritual Care Providers, Hospice CNAs, and Volunteers provide care and education to patients in their home, a family member’s home, nursing home, adult foster home  — wherever the patient resides. Using some combinations of medications, counseling, and therapies most patients can be kept pain-free, comfortable, and peaceful. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying. Hospice provides presence, specialized skills, and knowledge during the end-of-life process. And, after a patient death, hospice provides continued contact and support to caregivers for at least 13 months. These are the gifts.

As Heart ‘n Home wishes you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving, we are also taking this opportunity to express our own gratitude. The “gifts” we are invited to give through care, service, and education come back to us a million times over every day, every time. End of life is a very special, private, delicate, and intimate time. Being a part of that process is a privilege like no other and we thank our patients, your families and friends, and our community for inviting us into your lives to share it. These are the gifts you give to us. Thank you!

How to Get Help From Hospice

Click Here To Get Help

Pain Control: Fear of Addiction

Addiction is not an issue with hospice patients for two reasons: First, medications that may be addictive under certain situations are used in hospice to alleviate the pain associated with the end of life rather than to cope with the environment and social stresses of life.  Medications are being taken for physical symptom relief rather than out of social or emotional need.  Second, if a disease process would disappear and hospice care would no longer be needed, the pain and symptoms associated with end-of-life issues and the disease process would no longer exist and medication would not be necessary.  There is no longer a psychological or social need for the medication, and if a physical addiction has somehow occurred, it can be easily treated.

Hospice patients generally experience two kinds of pain: chronic and acuteChronic pain is pain that occurs continuously, while acute pain occurs suddenly often in the form of “breakthrough” pain.  Acute pain often stems from physical manifestations of symptoms, whereas chronic pain may be the result of emotional, social, and spiritual discomfort as well as physical symptoms.  Chronic pain may result from the simple fear of pain itself.  When the memory of previous pain or preoccupation with potential pain is present, pain can increase.  Without pain, the memory and fear of pain diminish and symptoms can be more easily controlled.

Pain can be further divided into these five types: visceral, bone, nerve, colic, and pleuriticVisceral pain is pain of the soft tissue and is often described as a continual ache.  Bone pain is often increased with movement.  Nerve pain produces a shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation.  Colic pain come and goes.  Pleuritic pain is affected by breathing.  Each type of pain can be an indication of a potential symptom control measure.

Coming next: Key Principles of Pain Management

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.