The art of dying well : a practical guide to a good end of life / Katy Butler.Material type: TextPublisher: New York : Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2019Edition: First Scribner hardcover editionDescription: xi, 274 pages : illustrations ; 24 cmISBN: 9781501135316; 1501135317; 9781501135477; 1501135473Subject(s): Terminal care | DeathGenre/Form: Self-help publications.DDC classification: 616.02/9 Other classification: SEL010000 | MED042000 | BIO026000
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Includes bibliographical references (pages 243-256) and index.
The lost art of dying -- RESILIENCE: The wake-up call ; Building reserves ; Finding allies in preventive medicine ; Weighing medical risks ; Getting to know the neighbors ; Knowing your medical rights ; Caring for the soul -- SLOWING DOWN: When less is more ; Simplifying daily life ; Finding allies in slow medicine, geriatrics, and a good HMO ; Reviewing medications ; Reducing screenings ; Making peace with loss -- ADAPTATION: A moment of truth ; Mapping the future and making plans ; Finding allies in occupational and physical therapy ; Disaster-proofing daily life ; Making a move ; Practicing interdependence ; Being an example -- AWARENESS OF MORTALITY: The art of honest hope ; Talking to your doctor ; Understanding the trajectory of your illness ; Preparing the family ; Finding allies in palliative care ; Reflecting on what gives your life meaning ; Staying in charge ; Thinking creatively ; Redefining hope -- HOUSE OF CARDS: If only someone had warned us ; Recognizing frailty ; Avoiding the hospital ; Finding allies in House call programs ; Upgrading advance directives ; Coping with dementia ; Shifting to comfort care ; Enjoying your red velvet cake -- PREPARING FOR A GOOD DEATH: Making good use of the time you have left ; Finding allies in hospice ; Next steps ; Settling your affairs ; Choosing the time of death ; Loving, thanking, and forgiving - Getting help from your tribe -- ACTIVE DYING: The tree needs to come down ; This is what dying looks like ; Preparing for a home death ; Preparing in a nursing home ; Giving care ; The final hours ; Humanizing a hospital death ; Improvising rites of passage ; Welcoming mystery ; Saying goodbye --Conclusion: Toward a new art of dying.
"An inspiring, informative, and practical guide to navigating end of life issues, by a groundbreaking expert in the field and the New York Times bestselling author of Knocking on Heaven's Door. In the mid-1400s, an unnamed Catholic monk composed a popular self-help book called Ars Moriendi, or The Art of Dying. Written in Latin, this medieval death manual taught people how to navigate the trials of the deathbed, using simple rituals of repentance, reassurance, and letting go. Bestselling author and award-winning journalist Katy Butler argues that we have lost touch with the "art of dying" as practiced by our ancestors, yet we still hunger for rites of passage, and a sense of the sacred, especially in the important life transitions of aging and dying. Butler has lectured at medical schools, and spoken with community and caregiving organizations across the country. Here she reveals what she has learned about dying in America today--and how to have a better end of life. We are coping with a medical system in disarray, in its approach to people who are aging, dying, or chronically ill. Butler argues that it's not about living as long as possible, it's about living as well as possible. Not only does our current system poorly serve our medical needs, it also crowds out any sense of the sacred. It's time to restore a sense of honor, and through exploring the stages of later life, sharing "good death" stories, as well as offering practical takeaways, The Art of Dying Well illuminates a path to a better end of life"--
"A reassuring and thoroughly researched guide to enjoying a high quality of life--from resilient old age to the first inklings of serious illness to the final breath. ... Packed with extraordinarily helpful insights and inspiring true stories, [this book] illustrates how to thrive in later life (even if coping with a chronic medical condition), how to get the best from our health care system, and how to make your own 'good death' more likely. This handbook of step-by-step preparations--practical, communal, physical, and sometimes spiritual--will help you make the most of your remaining time, be it decades, years, or months. Award-winning science journalist Katy Butler, an authority on end-of-life issues, explains how to successfully age in place, how to pick and have honest conversations with a younger doctor, when not to call 911, and how to make your death a sacred rite of passage rather than a medical event. A down-to-earth manual for living, aging, and dying with meaning and even joy, [this book] is based on Butler's own experience caring for aging parents, as well as hundreds of conversations with people who have successfully navigated a fragmented health system and helped their loved ones achieve good deaths. It also draws on interviews with nationally recognized experts in family medicine, palliative care, geriatrics, oncology, hospice, and other medical specialties. Inspired by the medieval death manual Ars Moriendi, or the 'Art of Dying,' [this book] is the definitive update for our modern age and illuminates the path to a better end of life."--Dust jacket.