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Changing the Way We Die: Compassionate End of Life Care and the Hospice Movementby Fran Smith
Synopses & Reviews
What You Need to Know Before You Need to Know It
Theres a quiet revolution happening in the way we die. Almost half of all Americans now die in hospice care, often at home, and a vast industry has sprung up to meet the growing demand.
Once viewed with suspicion as a New Age indulgence or fringe religious practice, hospice has become a $14 billion-a-year business and arguably the most successful segment of health care in America. In Changing the Way We Die, award-winning journalists Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel investigate what hospice means to todays aging population and their families. Its the first book to take a sweeping look at the hospice landscape, reporting the stories of patients, caregivers and cutting-edge researchers, as well as the corporate giants that increasingly own this market.
More than 76 million baby boomers are starting to turn 65 and 97 percent of Americans want to be better informed about end-of-life care. Changing the Way We Die is a vital and uplifting resource for readers facing lifes most challenging moments.
Theres a quiet revolution happening in the way we die. More than 1.5 million Americans a year die in hospice care—nearly 44 percent of all deaths—and a vast industry has sprung up to meet the growing demand. Once viewed as a New Age indulgence, hospice is now a $14 billion business and one of the most successful segments in health care. Changing the Way We Die, by award-winning journalists Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel, is the first book to take a broad, penetrating look at the hospice landscape, through gripping stories of real patients, families, and doctors, as well as the corporate giants that increasingly own the market.
Changing the Way We Die is a vital resource for anyone who wants to be prepared to face lifes most challenging and universal event. You will learn:
— Hospice use is soaring, yet most people come too late to get the full benefits.
— With the age tsunami, it becomes even more critical for families and patients to choose end-of-life care wisely.
— Hospice at its best is much more than a way to relieve the suffering of dying. It is a way to live.
About the Author
Fran Smith is a writer, editor, writing coach, and communications consultant. Her work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine; Redbook; Salon; Good Housekeeping; Prevention; Health; the Los Angeles Times; USA Today and dozens of other publications and websites. She has won many awards for medical reporting, health care investigations, and feature writing, and shared a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News. Fran co-authored the first reporters guidebook published by the Association of Health Care Journalists, and she is a frequent speaker on the power of storytelling, health care writing, and effective communications. A history buff, she is also the author of Breaking Ground: The Daring Women of the YWCA of the Santa Clara Valley, 1905 2005. (YWCA: 2005). She lives in New York.
Sheila Himmel is a Psychology Today blogger and co-author of Hungry: A Mother and Daughter Fight Anorexia (Penguin, 2009). She is a contributor to Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives: Guidance and Reflections on Recovery from Eating Disorders (April 2011). Sheila writes for publications ranging from the New York Times to Eating Well to IEEE Spectrum: The Magazine of Technology Insiders. Her work has appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Robb Report, M Magazine, and the online magazine Obit.
As a restaurant critic of the San Jose Mercury News, Sheila won a James Beard Foundation Award for feature writing. She won awards from the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press News Editors Association, and uncovered fraud at a prominent Silicon Valley restaurant, revealing its longtime substitution of pork for veal. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Activist, anthropologist, author, caregiver, ecologist, LSD researcher, teacher, and Zen Buddhism priest — Joan Halifax is many things to many people. Yet they all seem to agree that no matter what role she plays, Halifax is consistently courageous and compassionate. Halifax runs the Upaya Zen Center in New Mexico, a Zen Peacemaker community she opened in 1990 after founding and leading the Ojai Foundation in California for ten years. Her practice focuses on socially engaged Buddhism, which aims to alleviate suffering through meditation, interfaith cooperation, and social service.
As director of the Project on Being With Dying, Halifax has helped caregivers cope with death and dying for more than three decades. Her book Being With Dying helps clergy, community activists, medical professionals, social workers and spiritual seekers remove fear from the end of life. Halifax is a distinguished invited scholar of the U.S. Library of Congress and the only woman and Buddhist on the Tony Blair Foundations Advisory Council. She resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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