Palliative Care Book of the Month
THE LAST GIFTS
Creative Ways to be with the Dying
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2008
This is a remarkable book written by a most resourceful and insightful occupational therapist who works in palliative care in New Mexico.
I have no end of admiration for people who have trained themselves to be completely ‘being with’ a patient, totally focused and listening, to help someone who is dying to meet their goals and needs. Jillian Brasch is one such person; the other one who comes to mind is Christina Puchalski (A Time for Listening and Caring, Oxford University Press, 2006).
Here are the stories of seventeen patients, filled with compassion and caring, as well and Jillian Brasch’s practical strategies and insights. Anyone who works in palliative care will enjoy reading these stories and, if you’re like me, they will improve your ‘being with’ skills.
PALLIATIVE CARE FOR CARE HOMES
A Practical Handbook
Radcliffe Publishing, 2009
ISBN 978 184619 248 7
RRP £19.99, $US35.00, $AU55.00
Review copy supplied by Elsevier Australia http://shop.elsevier.com.au
As the populations in our societies age, there will be more and more individuals in care homes who have life-threatening conditions and are deserving of palliative care. The flow of the principles and practices of palliative care into the nursing home community is entirely logical, but it is a big task when many of the caregivers are non-professionals and few of the professional caregivers have had much in the way of education and training in palliative care. Written by a Macmillan nurse (a nurse who has undertaken special post-graduate training in palliative care in the UK) who has spent many years in care homes. This book sets out all the basic information about palliative care in a very practical, accessible way. It will be a useful resource for professional caregivers, but it is written in a ‘non-medical’ manner and would be easily understood by non-professional or family caregivers.
As the need for palliative care in care homes continues to increase, one could argue that having this book on the shelf to be referred to as need be would be a good first step.
FAMILY CARERS IN PALLIATIVE CARE
A Guide for Health and Social Care Professionals
Peter Hudson and Sheila Payne (Eds)
Oxford University Press, 2009
RRP $US55.95, £27.95
Providing care and support for the family of the patient is one of the basic, almost sacred, tenets of palliative care. But how well are we doing? In this book Peter Hudson and Sheila Payne have assembled a distinguished cast of contributors, which is both multidisciplinary and international, to critically assess the evidence. There are chapters on family support in different clinical settings and different economic circumstances, as well as for different disease groups (geriatrics, paediatrics, cancer, advanced organ failure, and neurodegenerative diseases) and it seems to be well referenced. I did not find it a light read, but there is a wealth of information here, application of which can only improve what we do in the way of family support. Anyone responsible for planning or operating a palliative care service should read this book and it will be a valuable resource for people involved in post-graduate courses in palliative care.
Enhancing Your Life to the Fullest
Anshan , 2009
RRP £14.99, $US29.99
Here is a book for patients with pain and for parents with children who have pain, written by someone who has dealt with pain for more than 40 years. Trained as a teacher of children with special needs, Renee Goossens suffered horrendous injuries in a car accident when she was 21, which left her in an English hospital for nearly two years. Wheelchair-bound with a lively toddler to raise, she beat the odds and walked again. Returning to Australia in the 1960s, she taught children with disabilities, was lecturer in French at the Conservatorium of Music, and French language coach for the Australian Opera.
The book deals with all aspects of pain management, from how to deal with doctors and the health system, to analgesics and the medical management of pain, to complementary and alternative therapies. I was particularly impressed with chapters dealing with the psychological and social factors involved with pain and how to deal with them. Throughout, one gets the feeling ‘Been there, had that. Here’s how you can deal with it.’ The chapter on children with pain will be very useful for troubled parents.
Clearly written by what sounds like a remarkable woman, I think this book would be useful to anybody dealing with pain.
Hope for a New Joy
Available at www.deannawilson-withinme.com
Deanna Wilson is an artist and graphic designer who created this little book whilst grieving for her husband who had died suddenly at the age of 33. Fifteen colourful chalk drawings, each accompanied by a few words, portraying the progression through the pain and darkness that is grief, towards the light and hope of recovery. I think this book would be a comfort to anybody on that journey.
Note for authors: If you wish to have your book reviewed, please send to:
Dr Roger Woodruff
IAHPC Bookshop Editor
210 Burgundy St, Suite 9
Heidelberg, Victoria 3084
Note: Review copies become property of IAHPC and are not returned to the author. Only palliative care related books which are previously approved will be reviewed. Due to the large number of requests, we can't provide exact dates of when books will be reviewed.
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