This practical handbook will equip readers with the tools to have meaningful conversations about death and dying
Death is a part of life. We used to understand this, and in the past, loved ones generally died at home with family around them. But in just a few generations, death has become a medical event, and we have lost the ability to make this last part of life more personal and meaningful. Today people want to regain control over health-care decisions for themselves and their loved ones.
Talking About Death Won’t Kill You is the essential handbook to help Canadians navigate personal and medical decisions for the best quality of life for the end of our lives. Noted palliative-care educator and researcher Kathy Kortes-Miller shows readers how to identify and reframe limiting beliefs about dying with humor and compassion. With robust resource lists, Kortes-Miller addresses
- advance care plans for ourselves and our loved ones
- how to have conversations about end-of-life wishes with loved ones
- how to talk to children about death
- how to build a compassionate workplace
- practical strategies to support our colleagues
- how to talk to health-care practitioners
- how to manage challenging family dynamics as someone is dying
- what is involved in medical assistance in dying (MAID)
Far from morbid, these conversations are full of meaning and life — and the relief that comes from knowing what your loved ones want, and what you want for yourself.
Dr. Kathy Kortes-Miller is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work and the Palliative Care Division Lead at the Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health (CERAH) at Lakehead University. She is an unconventional death educator with a passion for palliative care and improving end-of-life care for all. She lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
“Kortes-Miller pulls the shroud off dying and offers practical suggestions that will help patients, families, and healthcare professionals deal with end-of-life choices, options, and realities.” – Sandra Martin, author of the award-winning bestseller, A Good Death: Making the Most of Our Final Choices
“Dr. Kathy Kortes-Miller's extensive experience in palliative care and her own personal connection with death and dying are clearly evident in her book and illuminate the shadows surrounding this topic. Learning how to communicate effectively with caregivers, families, healthcare providers and employers is crucial to making death less daunting, and Dr. Kortes-Miller's unique perspective from both sides of the equation is thoughtfully expressed. From conversation starters to suggestions on what questions to ask, this book will help people and families navigate towards a good death and, ultimately, a good life.” – Ian Bos, activist and cross-Canada walker for hospice care
“I have always appreciated Kathy Kortes-Miller's well-earned status as a key opinion leader in end-of-life care. Her terrific and highly readable book, Talking About Death Won't Kill You should be considered essential reading. With insights born of her commitment to her profession, Kathy Kortes-Miller gives readers concrete strategies when facing life's end. Rather than preaching, she empowers both patients and caregivers with questions that help focus on strengths. One of my favorites: ‘what challenge have you overcome in the past? How can you use those skills and resources to help face the challenges of end of life?’” – Kathy Kastner, blogger at BestEndings.com and author of Death Kills... and other things I’ve learned on the internet
“This challenging book asks readers to face their fears of dying, and it will help those who do be more prepared for their own deaths and to ease the grief of loved ones.” — Publishers Weekly