I created Waking Up Dying to prove that purposeful, directed, goal-oriented caregiving can be an effective weapon for defending weak, helpless, sick, old and diminished patients. Sadly, the juggernaut of the American healthcare system demands more from patients than it gives. Too often, elderly caregivers (like me) are not much better off than the patient they hope to care for. They can be steamrollered as though they are not even there.

Waking Up Dying is about how my late wife and I (two journalists), with a sense of adventure and desire for self-determination, utilized our life experiences and professional skills to manage her healthcare crisis. Though burdened by cancer surgery, radiation treatment and chemotherapy, and the despair of a terminal diagnosis, we soldiered on to achieve the quality of remaining life we wanted.

This blog, and my book, offer proof that assertive and aggressive caregiving is a constructive and beneficial activity for improving patient wellbeing and accomplishing clinical changes in patient treatment while she is still alive to benefit.

I want readers to know they can adapt the skills, tools and techniques needed for proactive caregiving from among their life and professional skills and experiences as I did. I utilized project management techniques, interviewing methods, note taking training, writing skills, telephone sales methods, on-line research capabilities, meeting organization procedures, information management practices, and experience organizing large groups of unrelated people.

Caregiving is typically presented as a self-sacrificing, sensitive, heart rending and emotion filled activity doomed to failure by the loss of the one cared for. And it usually is, but it can and needs to be more. Much more.

Here’s how.

Recent Blog Posts

MANAGING MEDS – RX

Read and understand it. Look at the Rx and note the quantity, dosage, and instructions. Review what the Rx says with the prescribing doctor. Understand the desired result and purpose. Review the Rx with the pharmacist and ask any further questions. When you do this a few times you will become proficient and it will become easy...

CAREGIVERS PROTECTING PATIENTS

For two months I had been searching for an audience for a presentation about my book, Waking Up Dying, without any luck. I had written my book with three audiences in mind: healthcare providers (doctors and nurses), caregivers (friends, family and loved ones of patients) and patients (stricken men and women, mainly with terminal diagnoses)....

Follow The Money

Follow The Money Most of what is being done in the name of healthcare reform and end-of-life preparation is determined by the availability of money to support the efforts. No funds, no effort. It doesn’t matter what the cause or need is. That’s life, most of us have learned. Follow the money. It is discouraging...

HEALTH INSURANCE DOESN’T TRAVEL WELL

HEALTH INSURANCE DOESN’T TRAVEL WELL Seriously ill people must take their health insurance with them when they travel. But not all health insurance is portable and so continuing care and treatment away from home can be difficult. Patients may have a bucket list to fulfill or be seeking alternative treatment or want to visit loved...

Understanding Healthcare Benefits

Will your healthcare benefits take care of you? Not if you don’t understand how to use them or how they function. Take for instance the Public Employee Benefit Board (PEBB). Not even Washington State’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner or its Health Care Authority can explain it. The situation is so bad that the Insurance...