The pandemic may be causing many Americans to have second thoughts about nursing homes, with occupancy rates falling to a record low level in February 2021. If this trend continues, more people will likely be able to die at home, something that 80 percent of Americans say they would prefer.
In addition to professional caregivers, hospice care, and death doulas, one organization is training people in skills that were once handed down from grandparents just a century ago: how to care for a loved one at end-of-life.
Suzanne O’Brien, a hospice nurse, saw firsthand how family members were often paralyzed with fear that they would do something to harm their loved ones as they were caring for them at end-of-life. O’Brien has made it her life mission to change that. Since 2010, she has trained more than 100,000 people in basic end-of-life caregiving skills, including an average of 3,000 people who attend her free monthly training on Zoom, and is also proud Founder and Creator of the award-winning program Doulagivers: End of Life Doula Training, Eldercare Doula Training, and Doulagiver Care Consultant Training.
She tells us all about how she got into this work, what the system looks like now, the ability to die at home, and why these are important skills to have.
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