Episode 10

June 10, 2022

00:47:06

Talking Tough Stuff (Lin Sue Flood)

Hosted by

Tony Siebers
Talking Tough Stuff (Lin Sue Flood)
Parent Projects
Talking Tough Stuff (Lin Sue Flood)
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Show Notes

Today I’m joined by Lin Sue Flood, Director of Community Engagement with Hospice of the Valley, and longtime newscaster for Channel 12News in Phoenix. We’re kicking off June's National Alzheiner's Awareness Month with a conversation about resources available to advocates and caretakers during the hospice stage of this disease and listening to how this critical service touched Lin Sue's life.
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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:06 You're listening to parent projects. Speaker 2 00:00:10 Hi everybody. This is Tony seas and, uh, we are going to, uh, go live. We have a little bit of technical difficulties kicking off to this week's show. Uh, I am the host of the parent projects podcast. This is, uh, the end of our dementia week and the end of may, but beginning in June is traditionally our Alzheimer's awareness month nationally and gives us a really great opportunity to talk through the impacts of that disease, uh, on our parent projects. So I have with me today, Lynn Sue flood of a hospice of the valley, an organization that's been crushing it in the Arizona valley for about 45 years and delivering real solutions at hospice at respite and everything up and up and down. And we're gonna discuss what moved, uh, Lynn Sue, which is a, a tremendous communicator into focusing those communication skills around this critical thing. We're gonna talk about the family issues that we tend to run into, and we're gonna talk about different ways we can mitigate it and therapies that are offered for our loved ones, but also a little bit for us. So Speaker 1 00:01:33 You're listening to parent projects, a family media and technology group production. Now here, your host, Tony Seber, Speaker 2 00:01:43 Hey everybody, Tony Seber here with parent projects and joining me today is Lynn Sue flood and Lynn Sue, do we have you? Speaker 4 00:01:51 Yes. Speaker 2 00:01:51 Hi, Speaker 4 00:01:53 Thank you so much for having me, Tony. Speaker 2 00:01:56 Uh, it's really brilliant to have you, I, uh, a appreciate, you know, to the, to the audience I'm outside of studio or out really outside of the area today. I am, uh, not only this, this last couple weeks that we've been doing our own parent project, but I'm, I'm actually near and dear to my heart. I'm here in Oregon for a hospice situation with my little sister and our parent project, and which has turned into a family project pretty quickly. Um, and I just genuinely appreciate the opportunity to get to, to talk with great professionals like you, uh, and to here, even away from home, which you have to offer that will enlighten our situations. So thanks for joining us one too. Speaker 4 00:02:32 Oh, I'm glad to be here and I'm happy to help with information and my heart goes out to you guys. I know, I know that stuff. Oregon's a beautiful part of the country. I went to Willamette university as an undergrad in Salem gorgeous country. Speaker 2 00:02:45 Yeah, I did recognize. And actually her home is just about 15 minutes north of that. Um, so that, that we are not too far from that little stomping. I saw that coming, passing through. So yeah, it's a, it's a good touch. Um, wait, so, you know, what, what ends up taking you down into, I guess, in your life? What, what takes you into Arizona and how do you end up with hospice of the valley? I think a lot of people know you from obviously from your news career and from communicating the most, some of the most significant, important events of our, of our lives to us. And now you focus this talent here. What, what was your parent project? And what's moving you? Speaker 4 00:03:22 Oh my gosh. I'm so honored to be at hospice and valley. I can't tell you. I loved my news career. Um, but after 31 years in the news chair, I was kind of looking for, um, a new mission. My youngest children were about to har start high school, and I sort of wanted to be home in the evenings. As you know, when you're an evening anchor, you gotta work at about lunchtime and you don't get home till 11:00 PM. Uh, I did rent home for dinner, but it wasn't kind of what I wanted while they were in high school. I really wanted to be there. And I sure wanted to give the other lady that channeled all the chance to be the anchor woman <laugh>. So it was time to find something else to throw my heart into. And I had a personal experience with us specifically with a family member, my father-in-law and mother-in-law were in their SUV, going to Costco and he clutched his heart and something wasn't right. And they rushed into the hospital and it turned out he had a traumatic event, an aortic dissection. They did emergency surgery and he ended up on hospice. Um, he just suffered, um, some strokes to the brain and was not able to recover. And our family experienced what hospice care is. And I had no idea, of course, intellectually, you know, it is end up left care. Speaker 2 00:04:47 Yeah. Speaker 4 00:04:47 You have no idea what it's like until you personally experience it all, not just medical, emotional, social, spiritual, it was such a beautiful philosophy of care. It stuck with me. And so when I was looking for another calling low and behold, um, hospice of the valley didn't really have someone that was communicating with the community about all of the programs that they do. Many of them were community programs at no cost. And that sounded like something I could passionately get behind because I had spent my whole career, um, making connections and those connections were now going to bear fruit, helping people get comfort and dignity and compassion at the end of their life. And I was just absolutely in heaven. And I really feel that's true because I work with angels. I'm surrounded by angels, Tony. Speaker 2 00:05:46 Yeah. But amen to that. And I think anyone that you see particularly that, uh, spends a significant time, uh, working with families at the palliative care and at the hospice end of things, uh, you know, families are families are we're, we're unprepared. It's one of those things you, you set aside, you don't, you don't wanna deal with maybe. So you don't go seeking out to really understand it. I don't see a lot of, you know, 25 or 30 year olds going, oh, wonder what hospice is gonna be like to deal with in 15 years or in 20? Like what would that could be it's it's not a, it's not a fun thing, but my Lord at the moment at which you need it, you really need it. Uh, and you don't know what you need and you don't know how it comes. And you've got, you've got fears and, and people are scared about that. Speaker 2 00:06:33 I mean, talk about when, when someone will call hospice the fear, the fear in using hospice or what it is, how do you, we work so hard at parent projects to talk about. We, we don't make decisions based on fear. We don't make decisions based on guilt. Those things don't tend to, to flower. Well, we look for love and laughter, but, but how is it that you guys at hospice, when you're coming in to help, or how can a hospi, how can we defeat some of those fear or those, those, uh, wrong ideas or MIS MIS I don't know, misjudged ideas of hospice. Speaker 4 00:07:02 Well, I'll tell you if I had a magic wand. That is the one thing I would do, because I can't imagine how lonely and how frightening and how scary and exhausting it would be to go through a hospice journey without a whole team. We have a whole team helping. And really, if you don't have it, it's one person doing everything that we have a team that can help with. So it breaks my heart that some people don't know that it's there for them because they don't even understand that, that it doesn't cost them money. Or, uh, they just think that maybe it speeds up death, which it does not at all. Uh, the hospice philosophy is to help you live every moment that you have and, and make quality of life the best it can be at the end. Um, I've never heard anybody say to me, gosh, I wish I would've called you guys later. They always say, why didn't we call you sooner? Um, so I wish people weren't afraid. It isn't something to be afraid of. It's, it's marshaling resources from experts who are skilled and compassionate and can walk beside you and help you give the person you learn with all your heart that you're losing the best care. Um, because you don't know how to do it by yourself. Speaker 2 00:08:23 Those Speaker 4 00:08:23 Resources are out there Speaker 2 00:08:25 Without it doubt. So can do you, are, are you able to think back when you, when you were first moved to start coming through this, what, what are in your first, maybe six months of when you get involved in a program, uh, you haven't quite been inundated in it so much. You have that fresh view. Can you remember back to that or think any kind of ahas of hospice that you had misperceptions that you had before that you were like, oh my gosh, like, I, I didn't have any understanding of that either with your own experiences or, or a real common one. Speaker 4 00:08:59 Yeah. So I had no idea that there were, um, social workers, doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants, chaplains I, and volunteers who would come and, and lead with you or, or spend time with the patients so that the loved one could go in another room and get some rest or go to church or go to lunch. I didn't understand anything about the teamwork that went on and how it just surrounds you. I didn't understand that they came to you in your home wherever you live, where it's, whether it's with your, your adult child as a patient, or you're an assisted living or a group home, they come to you or your own home. I thought you could go to a place. And I didn't know that you didn't pay for it. I thought you had to pay for hospice care, but Medicare covers it. And in the case of hospice of the valley, because we're in nonprofit, if you are too young for Medicare and you don't have insurance, we take you anyway. It's the same exact care. That is our mission, just to accept to all who come to us. So you're covered if that happens to you in Maricopa county, Arizona, I also didn't understand that it was for the family members as much as it is for the family, because everybody's walking that hospice journey. Speaker 2 00:10:14 Every single it is, it is it's a whole, a whole ecosystem, right? Mm-hmm Speaker 4 00:10:19 <affirmative>. Yeah. And I didn't understand how amazing the people are, who get this care because they don't just have one family. They're caring for many families, the different teams have different, different, um, caseloads. So they have many families, all at different stages, all with different chronic illnesses, their terminal illnesses, and they are so compassionate and are so skilled in helping to answer questions, because there's a lot of fear of the unknown. And they're so reassuring. They, they see every single person as an individual story because everyone is different. We have patients who've been prima ballerinas and fighter pilots and their life stories are fascinating and they get to know the families and they care about them. And then to my amazement, and I'm still amazed by this. I was very amazed when I first came six months, you know, my first six months, when that patient passes, they take all of that lovely compassion and expertise and add another family to their caseload, into it all over again, day in and day out, three years, we have people who have been nurses with us for 40 of our 45 years. Speaker 2 00:11:35 Wow. And, you know, I think that I, I love hope in really, really difficult things. And I think something difficult for a family member is being able to see past the day of the loss or where that's gonna happen, that there, you know, some of those things that you can recover, you can be a productive in life. Those things will go through. But to know that there are people just to note that hospice workers could do that for that many years and continue to come back time and time again, and care for those families and, and breathe into that. This should, I, I would hope that that should breed hope that, wow, there's a path through this. There are methodologies, there are techniques. You can do this in a healthy way. And then once, once you know, better, now you can do better. Right? You can, you can start yes Speaker 4 00:12:19 With that. Definitely. And you know, they all have servant hearts and I will say they all see to the calling. And every one of them will tell you that walking someone through the last journey of their life is their honor, that they're honored by it. So, you know, there are special, definitely a special breed of persons that does that. And you mentioned the grief too. Tony, I, I forgot to say bereavement counselor, because obviously on the backside of that, there are bereavement counselors that help the family with the loss of their loved one. You can have that counseling for 13 months or longer if you need it, but a minimum of 13 months to get you through the first anniversary of the death of your loved one. And then there's the grief that you're having while you're on the journey, which we call anticipatory grief. And that can be because, you know, you're losing someone bit by bit, whether it's a terminal illness or is as the case, a lot of us are finding out it's dementia. Someone we love has dementia, and we're losing them day by day piece by piece. And we're grieving now while they're still here with us. Speaker 2 00:13:23 Yeah, it is. I, I would say for other family members and we just had a grandmother I was really close with. Um, and it was that long goodbye, which when you see just, um, really, really brutal, maybe a difficult side in this, um, I, I think any loss is always going to be hard, but that anticipatory grief that's, um, I think what we could talk to here in a bit, I, I wanna talk about and explore where that might move into family issues and what, what families might most often see as that starts to creep it, or those things work through mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, I'd really like to take a moment if we could. And, uh, and just kind of show a little video here of what hospice the valley does here in the valley for us, for Phoenix. If we could take a break and flip over to that, Speaker 6 00:14:15 All of us will be touched in some way by dementia, our innovative dementia care and education campus expands support for families enhancing quality of life, both here at the campus and throughout our community. And that support begins as soon as people show signs of dementia. People just like Barbara, Speaker 5 00:14:36 You look beautiful in blue. No kidding. Yeah. Now I'm gonna name three objects. The objects are table apple, apple, penny. Do you know the address here? I don't know. Okay. What about those three objects? Speaker 7 00:15:00 Peter apple, honey, they're kind of a jumble. Speaker 6 00:15:07 People living with dementia are doing the very best they can, but their brains don't work the way they used to. We can't reverse the brain changes, but we can help them feel a sense of belonging, celebrating the residual parts of them. Still within Speaker 8 00:15:32 This campus teaches caregivers and healthcare professionals, how to enrich life. And it helps our community better understand what it feels like to live with dementia. Speaker 6 00:15:42 Our labs will teach skills like helping someone transfer from the bed to the chair. Our memory cafe will let caregivers share their experiences with others on the same journey at the adult day club folks will enjoy fun activities, all kinds of art projects, music, singing, dancing, and there's that precious intergenerational interaction they'll get with preschoolers in the child center, right next door. Speaker 8 00:16:05 There's the assisted living for people who wanna live at the campus. They can have any stage of dementia. The hospice home is for those with advanced dementia. And the really special part is the education center it's for the whole community. And it's where people can come to learn about dementia and feel supported and understood Speaker 6 00:16:26 The campus. Not only invites the community in, but it branches out into the community. Speaker 8 00:16:32 Our supportive care for dementia program goes to families where they live. It teaches caregivers, practical things, but it also shows them how to care for themselves. So their stress and fear lessons, and they have a better quality of life Speaker 9 00:16:46 Too. And because dementia cases are rising at a very fast rate, we want to inspire the next generation of healthcare workers and help build a dementia capable workforce. Speaker 6 00:16:56 It's all about a caring community. The more we learn the better it is for everyone. We wanna help people not just live with dementia, but live well with dementia. Speaker 5 00:17:09 This was perfect. Yeah. Yeah. Which one? I think both of them. Wonderful. Wonderful. You did a really nice job. Thank you. Speaker 2 00:17:23 Living well with dementia. Uh, boy, I I'm just, uh, that is a great concept, uh, to think through when you're working through really anything. That's what happens to be really oriented at one particular disease, but I'm, I'm here today with the director of community outreach, Lynn Sue flood with hospice of the valley, an absolute blessingly Sue to continue to have you with us, um, in, in the, that video and, and how you communicate that, uh, you're not waiting to die. When you go into these, these places off of that, there's a whole life to be lived. It can still be celebrated. There's a lot to learn. Uh, you talk about the stories of those family members. I know that particularly in Alzheimer's and dementia, there'll be windows. And those times when some, some family history that's been locked up for long periods of time, get unlocked for momentarily. And there's those great opportunities to capture those and pull those back in for us. And, and to know you guys, um, have a focus there is, is really quite a blessing. Um, Speaker 4 00:18:25 It's really moments of joy, right? Isn't it moments of joy, cuz that's all you have with dementia. And so we have something that we called an about need form when we have a patient, whether or not they, they have dementia, but it's more important with dementia where they write down their favorite songs, what their dog's name was, all these wonderful things, um, that then our care teams or pep therapists who walk in or music therapists who walk in, they can say, oh, this guy was a veteran. We're playing battle him of the Republic, cuz he's really gonna love that. And it really just brings them back to something that they can remember and gives them joy and happiness. And then sometimes that window opens a little and family members get to glimpse. Um, yeah. And love one in a different way. Speaker 2 00:19:12 Yeah. Well, in those you, while we were talking earlier, we had had a conversation before about just how different a project could be and the wide variety of tools you might need. Almost like a tool belt is, is how I was thinking of it. Um, we have a, a saying at parent projects, if you've seen one parent project, you've seen one parent project. Yes. Uh, right. And, and I think that that gets used across the industry in general, for people that serve here. Um, tell me, what are some of the, the therapies that family members in particular, um, could be looking towards or thinking about, uh, once they get their, their loved ones settled and they know what that care plan is and that's working through and they feel like they have that breath to look at themselves to, to keep themselves in the fight. What are some of those things that family members could be thinking about for therapies? Speaker 4 00:20:02 Well, we, you saw in the video how, um, there, the childcare center is right next to the adult day center and that interaction is good because it's, it's long term memory that, that lasts the longest. So they remember children and they feel that joy with children and children that are tiny, have no idea when someone has to dementia. So that kind of interaction can be very, very beautiful. People love their pets. So they love pet therapy. It really makes them happy music, your favorite songs from whatever era that you can remember, um, will bring you joy. And sometimes people with dementia get caught and they're living in some other reality. They're they're in their mind, they're 11 years old on a fishing trip. And if you were to show them a picture of themselves in the mirror, they'd say, who is that man in my house? Speaker 4 00:20:52 Because they're in the past. So, so things that you can unlock about them, if they really loved, um, fishing, then you talk about dad. Remember that fishing trip you took to lake whatever. And he'll tell his stories again and relive that and have joy. So it really is about personalizing the care. And then also looking after and nurturing yourself as a caregiver. So it can be very frustrating to have someone ask you what time are we having lunch? And two minutes later, when are we having lunch? Are you gonna make lunch? And you just said them. Yeah. So there are ways to distract. Uh, one of the things, um, all of our educators and teams teach is never say no, because that can be combative and have, um, your loved one feeling like you're, you're fighting them or you're in their way, or you're trying to stop them or control them. Speaker 4 00:21:50 It's better to say yes, but you know, so I want to go for a walk at two in the morning. You know, it could be two in the morning. Yes. But let's have a cup of pot chocolate first and I'll go get my sweater. And hopefully they forget, they finish their hot chocolate. You come out and you go, oh, you finish your hot chocolate. It's time for bed. Yeah. Yes. But works so much better. Um, yes. But tell me about that. I really wanna go see my sister who isn't alive anymore, baby. Yes. But tell me about your sister. She was pretty cool. Wasn't she? And so many ways that you can keep yourself your blood pressure in check and, and love the person that you're with. And they're doing really the very best they can do. And some of these strategies help you do the very best you can do to take care of yourself. Speaker 2 00:22:40 Yeah. It, and it is, it's a progressive disease. So it, it kind of changes from time to, Speaker 4 00:22:46 There you go. Now I can hear you. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:22:48 Thank you so much. Uh, and we're in our, we're in our own family hospital. Speaker 4 00:22:53 Well you're yes. You're, you're remote. So live shots like that. But you know, we were talking about just ways to make sure that you, as a caregiver, don't get run down because right. There's no way that you're gonna be able to provide the kind of love loving atmosphere, um, that you want for your loved one. If you, aren't also aware of what's happening to you and how your life is changing. And part of that is getting support from other people who are going through the same journey, cuz they can share strategies that work for them. You can talk about the rewards and the challenges together. Yeah. And you know what, the neat thing we do at the campus is we have something called a memory cafe. So you can't find someone to leave your loved one with it, with dementia. So we say, bring them, then we have trained dementia caregivers in a big room. Some are working with pet therapy. Some are reading books. Some are painting with you. Some are taking walks, some are doing music and singing and dancing. While the care partners can be in another room and share what they need to share about their journey and cry. If they need to cry, laugh because they laugh and just feel like they're not alone in the world. And that's part of it is to know that you're not the only one going through this and you're not alone. Speaker 2 00:24:09 People can. And isn't it CRA, isn't it crazy how we, we feel that that's the situation. When we walk into it, we almost feel like we have to rein you're reinventing the wheel until you find that until you get on board with something and then you look around and you're like, wow, of course this has always happened. Of course my family went through this at one point in time and their family went through that before that. Uh, but it, but it seems so novel. I, I was thinking in the, um, the yes, but conversation specifically and learning those types of tools reminded me how much easier, uh, if parenting gets easier, but how much easier parenting got from me of younger kiddos when I learned, uh, to, to respond to their really inconvenient questions with, well, why do you ask to, uh, instead, right? Instead of moving on an assumption of whatever that your bad question is or where it is, it, it bought that time to really understand well where they were in something that's progressive and they were progressing on that side. But the same side I found value in dealing with family members with dementia. Yeah. Um, and, and my, you know, uh, that ability to ask them why that's on their mind or what they're thinking through often will tell me the next thing I can talk about. Um, and something might even look the same, but it, it tells me that next, it tells me where they really want to go into a conversation or where they're most open to go in a conversation. And then I feel a little more productive for the moment. Speaker 4 00:25:31 Yeah, no, it is good because you might be spending a whole bunch of time on something they weren't really asking. So, you know, you, you talked about, um, you know, striking this personalized care. One of the things we do for folks with dementia, we have these interactive dogs and cats. They're they're animals that are robotic mechanical. Yeah. Because if you have dementia, you can't have a cat sitting in your lap for seven hours, but they may want that. And you have a little button, it can make sounds, it's head can move. It's tail can move. The cats will per, so you have that warm vibration in your lap, just like a real cat. It brings such comfort. Speaker 2 00:26:09 Well, I, I, I love that. That's how you describe that. My, my grandmother, uh, often I know I was favored and for my family that might be watching, I know that drives everybody nuts from it, but she did get one of those cats and she named it, Anthony <laugh> and Anthony sad. It it's a foot of her bed. And after a while we had to turn his sounds off, but he would, he would just out of nowhere, he would do movement when we weren't and, and that movement would spawn her for activity. And you know, it got her, her mind moving and other things. And she just a, she had no idea that it wasn't a real cat. Speaker 4 00:26:45 I know they don't. Speaker 2 00:26:47 And it was, Speaker 4 00:26:48 We had a gentleman who said his wife walked in the room and said, why is the dog on the floor? And he said, well, he wanted down <laugh> so, and he put him down there, but he got down. Speaker 2 00:27:01 Yeah. And, and those are like, those are some of the great for now. I'm, you know, I'm about three months or so past that last loss, that long goodbye, that dementia, goodbye. And boy, those are bright, great moments. And so it's again to throw hope they pass and they come, and those are the things, I mean, some good things to remember off of that, uh, they were healing on both sides. They were healing for us as well. Sometimes even providing it took the pressure off of us, of having to entertain or be there at that every moment at which maybe they were awake or they were coming to, it provided that other distraction without not even a distraction. It, it filled time with love. Yes. And with thought at a time that it didn't require turning a television on or something else, which you, you hate to always turn to that exactly. Speaker 2 00:27:49 To be your distraction. So, well, I love that. Well, um, you know, in, in particular, I think one thing that we've had a lot of interest in, in this last month, we've talked through veterans and we've just come off of a Memorial day. And those challenges of veterans, uh, in, in particular, uh, you know, Memorial day is, it's a, it's, it's a fascinating, I speak as a, is a, is a veteran of, of the Iraq war. It's a, it's a, it's a fascinating thing for those that are, that are left behind, meaning still alive, and those are here. Uh, and how we process that, especially when, if, if it gets misdirected is a veteran's day kind of celebration instead of truly a Memorial day celebration of those who we did, we weren't able to bring home with us. Right. But those are, um, those things are things that get unpacked as well. So, uh, you know, maybe veteran, what, what are the thoughts towards veterans as they're unpacking, uh, and working through this, um, how does the VA tie it back in, or are there tie offs as to the VA systems when it comes into hospice, that can be a very confusing collision of multiple healthcare systems and where things come together. Is there anything you that you can think of that we should be aware of or thinking of your family member, as a, as a veteran Speaker 4 00:29:02 Tony, it is very, very hard for families to navigate. And so our social workers are really good at that. If it's making sure that, uh, if you're a veteran, you are getting the benefits you need. Um, but the hospice benefit is covered with Medicare. You don't have to worry about that, but there are other benefits that the family could be using, uh, to make the end of life more, you know, better, higher quality if he had all of his benefits that were coming to, or she, so the social workers equipped to do that. But we started a couple of programs, um, that we think are really neat for veterans because sometimes they've worked their whole lives in a military career and they've not won a purple heart or, or some other, but they sacrificed for our country. And they, they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice that came to that, and they should be honored at the end of their life. Speaker 4 00:29:52 So we created saluting our veterans, where we get veteran volunteers in the same branch of service. They go to the veteran hospice patients home, and they do a salutes visit. And it ends with a salute, which is the most heartwarming thing, because you can have someone very close to end of life that really isn't very responsive and their hand comes up and they salute they're gonna do that. They're gonna return their salute. And it's so touching for family members. And it means a lot. They get a pin ceremonial pin, they get a bedside flag. Um, there is time for the veterans to talk one on one veteran to veteran family members can be invited. It's just a nice kind of, um, respectful tribute visit, right? And then we have another program called legacy core where we got a government grant and volunteers can come in and spend time with veteran patients to give the caregiver a break, become their buddies. Speaker 4 00:30:52 Um, I recently got to meet one and she goes to his home every single morning and they walk his dog. That's how she starts her day with him. And they are just little buddies. And it's a wonderful program because the government it's called volunteer, but you really still get some incentives for doing it. You get a monthly stipend, you get gas paid for, which is a big deal nowadays with the price of gas. And you also, um, can earn college credit. So it's great for students, but if you're grandparent, you can give that college credit to your child or grandchild. So you help a veteran family, military family, and you also can earn these wonderful incentives. And it really does make veterans feel special. It enhances their end of life journey. Speaker 2 00:31:37 Well, and it's a great connection between, uh, between multiple generations, the cross generational, the healing within it, the ability to communicate back and forth. I think the more we've gotten into technology, the easier it is to lose those connections. So, um, so those are important things to hold onto. Speaker 4 00:31:55 Yeah. Oh no, that reminds me Tony. Back when we had COVID, we refused to give up these salutes visits. So we would go and send, um, we would do a link, a zoom link, and we would have a place where the volunteer could do a salutes visits virtually. And so they were just looking at each other in the phone, but they could talk back and forth. They would salute each other. We had delivered the pin and the, and the, um, flag ahead of time. So they were so beautiful. We started that program in 2011 and we've given 3000 split, Speaker 2 00:32:31 Ah, 3000, holy cow. You Speaker 4 00:32:33 Know, isn't that wonderful. Speaker 2 00:32:34 That is fantastic. I know that is fantastic. I, I love that all Speaker 4 00:32:38 Volunteers. Speaker 2 00:32:40 Well, you know, I wanna give, uh, I wanna add a salute into this. I wanna take a break here. Uh, one last break here to give an opportunity to give a salute, uh, to Catholic charities, manna house and to the refuge cafe, the coffee company that they use to help, uh, homeless veterans and those last loss and lease and pull 'em off the road. So let's take that quick break real quick. Speaker 10 00:33:03 Hey guys, uh, this is Tony at the parent projects podcast. And if you are powered by coffee, the way that I'm powered by coffee, I think you'll appreciate knowing a way that you can help the last lost and least of us that didn't have a great transition. You see the refuge coffee company is a social enterprise operated by Catholic charities of central and Northern Arizona, where they use this coffee and this business model to help homeless veterans at the mana house, transitional community. Get back on their feet, help a veteran, turn a handout into a hand up by giving them the opportunity to earn your business purchase coffee [email protected] That's the refuge az.com. If you order six or more bags, shipping will be free. And if you tell 'em that parent project sent you, I'm gonna send you a travel coffee mug. Thank you again. And let's get back to the show. Speaker 2 00:33:56 Hey guys, Tony Seaberts here and we've got Lin Sue flood, director of community engagement for hospice of the valley. And we have been talking about, uh, the hospice options, uh, ways for caregivers, family members, both, uh, professional, uh, and how others are and, and family and friends, uh, how they can work through the hospice situation. We've dispelled a couple of the myths that sit out there. We've talked about a couple of the great, uh, different therapies that sit in. We're gonna get into a home stretch, uh, where, you know, we're gonna talk about ways that maybe can move us to start exploring this or talking a little more about this within our own families, within our own teams. As we handle our parent projects, uhlin Sue. If a, if a family member, um, has an idea, if, if you know, there's a terminal disease, maybe you're not ready for it. Uh, or it's not quite that time. You're not within a six months window. Uh, what, when, when do you encourage families and, and when should a family reach out, when should the be, when should we really start talking about and looking at these things to make the best use of it? Speaker 4 00:35:01 Well, I kind of look at that, uh, question from two perspectives. Um, because at any moment we could have a traumatic accident and need to be on a hospice care, um, because we're suddenly on an end of life journey and we're not going to get better from our injury. So we can't just say, oh, we've got plenty of time till we get into our seventies. And mom and dad are pretty healthy. So we don't need to bring that up. The easiest way to bring it up is to say we, as a family should figure out what our healthcare decisions are. Who's our medical power of attorneys who do I want to make these decisions? If I were to have sudden stroke, um, or get hit, hit by a car and be put into an irreversible coma, do I wanna be kept alive on machines? Do do I not want all of this kind of stuff done for me? Speaker 4 00:35:55 It's different for everyone, but everyone should talk about it because it can happen to any one of us at any moment. So when you have that conversation, you've picked your medical power of attorney. You've filled out your living, will you know exactly what you wanna do? I wanna be an organ donor, or I don't, I wanna be cremated or I don't. Um, it's out in the open. All of a sudden, all that forbidden stuff is kind of gone because everybody's disgusted it and there's no emergency in sight. So nobody's upset, nobody's crying, it's all comfortable. You can joke about it. You can, um, say these are my wishes and this is my gift to you. This is how I would like things to go. And please honor my wishes. And don't worry about making any hard decisions, cuz they're all right there for you in black and white. That is the best way to go, I think. Speaker 2 00:36:48 Yeah. Yeah. And, and can you give any advice to family members, uh, who, um, who are trying to help a loved one maybe at, at risk of that happening? Maybe it's early stages of dementia or maybe it is a diagnosis of cancer. That's just going downhill. Um, what your early talking points to help family members continue to make those decisions or to start putting those documents together? Speaker 4 00:37:17 Well, I actually heard someone speak once and, and they said, you know, because it's such a gift to your family, it's not a bad idea to bring it up around the holidays and say, you know, you know, what would be a really great gift to us is to not worry about, uh, something traumatic happening to you. And then all of the infighting that might go on between siblings and children saying, no, mom would want this. Oh, she definitely would want this. Oh, you guys are wrong. She'd want this. Why that you don't want that. And we don't want that. And so let's just make it a gift that doesn't cost anybody, anything. And let's just get this done. And I, in my young age, mom am willing to do it at the same time. I'll do it with you. I'll give my MPO a at my medical power attorney, I will fill out the living well, I'll make the same decisions for myself. Speaker 4 00:38:11 So if I go first, you would know what to do. Mom. Those are the kinds of conversations that if you just get really honest and you don't wait until everybody has no time left because somebody's very imminently going to pass and everyone is in agony and, you know, broken hearted. Those that's the worst time to, I think this figured stuff out, it should be done way ahead of time. And then you have those decisions already made. And then when as for when it's the right time for hospice, there's no crystal ball. You can have people that are really ready for hospice physically like way past ready, but they're not even close emotionally. And they're not going to come on to hospice until the last moment. Speaker 2 00:38:56 And, and that is, I think that's an important thing to understand that I, that I, um, that I've really learned and seen this a couple of times now, uh, there seem to be not to oversimplify it. Uh, and I'm not an expert by far in it, but there seem to be three things as a family member that were important for us to establish when hospice was right as, as family members, uh, the first was that we had a medical situation that couldn't get better in the next six months. It was gonna lead to death in the next six months. Uh, the second. And, and we had a doctor. Um, the second was that we had a doctor who was, could tell us, look us in the eye and say, I can't add something to this. Like not only does that condition exist, I can't really add something. Speaker 2 00:39:40 We can, we can always try to fight to the very, very end and you, and they will do that for you. But generally they're telling you this, this is, this is such an uphill battle. Again, you're not, you shouldn't think of this as waiting to die. It is about being comfortable and living your best life possible. And that second, yeah, that quality of life comfort, the comfort is huge, right. Of, of living a comfortable life in those days so that you can make the most of it. That was the number two. The third was that, um, my sister or my grandmother, they had to be, they had to be ready to do this. They emotionally and mentally had to be checked in. And they got screened for that. When hospice came into the house to talk with them and asked them, you know, where they were at, they were making that assessment and being clear of, we're not here to convince you to do this or to, you know, to tell you, you have to, or you even should do this. This is a resource for you to come into. But if you're not here and you're not ready to go through this and to live this type of a comfortable lifestyle, then this just isn't the right time. And that's okay too. Speaker 4 00:40:45 Yeah, it is totally okay. Uh, I think, um, so what hurts my heart is when somebody says the word hospice, but the person hearing it hears give up, Speaker 2 00:40:57 Give up, totally you're giving up. Totally. Speaker 4 00:41:00 But there are, or Speaker 2 00:41:01 I'm giving up on you. Or if I accept this, I'm giving up on everybody else. And that's how, Speaker 4 00:41:06 And there's so many doctors who will say, this is not giving up. If this was my mother, this is what I would say. We can fight this with more aggressive treatment, but it will take your life faster yeah. Than if you went to hospice because hospice can actually prolong your life because your body is very broken down by rounds and rounds of aggressive treatment. And if right, it's an incurable disease and can't be cured and they've done really all the curative treatment that they can, then it's diminishing returns. Right. And it isn't giving up, it's reaching the fork in the road, um, where some people will continue to fight and, and, and some <affirmative> boy, and, and some will say, I, I think I wanna take the comfort route Speaker 2 00:41:56 And, and how many there are, there are times in hospice and we've seen it where once they got into that hospice area and the mind didn't have to focus on pain and managing pain, it got to the body, got to focus itself on healing. Yeah. And actually doing some healing of stuff. And they rebounded in one particular case, we had to come outta hospice. Like it, it was, I think you're gonna come off of this. And I understand, I understand a dementia in Alzheimer's, that's, that's actually a thing, um, that that can happen. Um, so that, Speaker 4 00:42:31 I mean, it will us dementia. Yeah. Dementia's progressive. Right. And, and a cur in a, you know, terminal disease is progressive, but you can have these plateaus where you actually do better, cuz you're coming out of. So if you've been on lots of curative treatment, you probably can't even eat. So once you get off of it and, and you start to get your appetite back and you eat again and then you feel better and you're stronger and you're walking and you're, then we do graduate. You and you do go off hospice. And at some point we'll see you back again. Some people go graduate and go have another round of period of treatment. They feel so good. Um, so it's it they're like I said, no, crystal ball, if nothing is wrong for anybody, hospice is there when you need it. Some people think if they get on hospice and they sign up, they they're stuck. But if you get better, you go off hospice. And when you come back, your benefit has not diminished. It hasn't changed. It won't go away. You won't lose a penny of it. It it's there. So, and it can go as long as your journey goes. So I think that's another thing people think I, you wanna last minute, cuz it'll run out, Speaker 2 00:43:36 Is that because hospice is almost more of a pedagogy or a, a, a methodology rather than just a specific treatment. It's more of just like a collection of Speaker 4 00:43:47 It's a philosophy Speaker 2 00:43:48 How it's done. It's a, yeah. Speaker 4 00:43:50 The philosophy of care. And Medicare knows that when you have a whole team supporting you, quality of life is vastly improved. Actually the cost of care goes down because what you call the medical, you call your hospice team and you don't run to the ER and you can't run to the ER when you're super, super sick. Yeah. And you're not gonna be calling, you know, the ambulance to take you to the ER, because you have some kind of traumatic event, give a hospice team there. That's gonna take care of your pain. So Speaker 2 00:44:21 I, I think that, and I think that just that end of the conversation just really highlights too, that it is, it truly is someplace to look to thrive in the last chapter, as you're working through where you can really thrive. And for us, a big thing that sits on my heart and I, I end everything with, you know, behold and be held. Uh, it really puts you in that mind frame, I think, where you really can, uh, be held. You can just calm in that and begin to, to put the rest of your, uh, your, your faith, if you will into play. And uh, oh, that's been Speaker 4 00:44:56 Beautiful. Speaker 2 00:44:57 Wow. Uh, it's been a blessing for us, for our, for our group. And it helps us motivate as a team Lynn, Sue. I really, really appreciate the conversation with you today. You've been, oh, thank you. You've been a, you've been a blessing to, I know to our, uh, to our members, you've been a blessing to my heart and our conversation here. Uh, and I'm confident you will continue to, to bless our community, particularly in Phoenix, through your work with hospice of the valleys and others. So God bless you and for all your work and stand on top of it. Speaker 4 00:45:27 Thank you. It was my joy to be here today. Thank you so much, Speaker 2 00:45:30 Tony. Thank you so much. And that's, uh, gonna be a wrap today. Um, uh, appreciate everybody joining us for today's episode. Um, as always I tell you to behold be held, but be moved Speaker 12 00:45:49 Well, that's it foot's team this week. And thanks for joining us. If you've enjoyed the content, remember to subscribe and to share this episode on the app that you're using right now, your reviews and your comments, they really help us expand our reach as well as our perspectives. So if you have time also drop us a note, let us know how we're doing for tips and tools, to clarify your parent project, simplify communication with your stakeholders and verify the professionals that you choose. You can find us on YouTube, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks again for trusting us until our next episode behold and be held. Speaker 1 00:46:21 Thank you for listening to this parent project's podcast production to access our show notes, resources or forums. Join us on your favorite social media platform or go to parent projects.com. This show is for entertainment purposes only before making any decisions consult a professional. This show is copyrighted by family media and technology group incorporated, and parent projects, LLC written permissions must be granted before syndication or rebroadcast.

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