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on March 18, 2008
The End-of-Life Handbook is a refreshing and comforting book that I wish I had had when my husband died three years ago. Reading the words of both Dave Feldman and Andrew Lasher feels like having them sitting with you, coaching you when you need help figuring out what to do. They offer practical advice about talking to doctors, how to understand your own feelings and to care for yourself when a loved one is gravely ill. If you only buy one book when you are helping someone with a serious illness, this is the one I would buy.
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on February 16, 2008
Drs. Feldman and Lasher have created an extraordinary book. If you are facing the challenges of caring for a dying loved one you could benefit greatly by having this essential resource. I have never read a book that had such an immediate effect of preparing me for something so difficult: to be with someone during their final passage. My loved one is an octogenarian with cancer. As a first-time primary caregiver and health proxy, I didn't know where to begin. Once I started reading, it was hard to put the book down. Its non-technical voice was liberating and validating. Never before having experienced the throes of living with someone who has a terminal illness, I realized I was emotionally surviving one day at time without a thoughtful plan. I was managing finances, trying to understand medical jargon, and more, all while neglecting to take care of my own needs: guilt, anger, numbness, sadness, et cetera.

The End-of-Life Handbook speaks directly to you, acting as your own personal compassionate guide. It draws on the experience of two experts in the field of end-of-life care. The wisdom Feldman and Lasher provide is reassuring. Most chapters end with exercises that help you with practical (but overlooked) matters like creating a plan to take of care of yourself, or providing a list of questions to help with the often difficult conversation regarding your loved one's advance directives. In addition, anecdotes in each chapter bring to life the rich information the book has to offer.

This book is highly recommended!
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on July 23, 2010
The book has two parts . . . one about medical decisions during treatment, how to get what you want from the medical profession, etc. I purchased the book after all treatment had been completed and I knew that my husband was in the last stages of cancer. The second part was the most important to me. It deals with the final days or months. What to say; how should I be feeling; where it will happen; what will happen, how to make the patient comfortable and how to make peace with the final outcome. It is not a spiritual handbook. The spiritual aspect of any death is important, but I liked the matter of fact approach to all the questions that had been going around in my head since this all started. An excellent handbook helping both the patient and caregiver deal with this stressful and emotional time in their lives.
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on February 13, 2013
This book was recommended to me by medical professionals and hospice workers as the best book of its kind. It is slim, covers all aspects of what you might want to know as background if you have a family member or friend you care about who is dying, and with whom you would like to have a mutually supportive, constructive, caring relationship. The authors come from two different but complementary disciplines. Each chapter has very non-prescriptive but thoughtful lists of suggestion for you to read over to see what may fit for you and the dying person's situation, including how to talk with them when you visit, how to draw them out, how to find out how you can actually help with both logistical and emotional/psychological matters. I wish I had read it before going to be with the first of 3 loved ones to see them through their journey up to the threshold over which I could not follow. I have since given and loaned out several copies of this book to friends who have elderly parents facing the end. You could not help but find something in it that is personally helpful in your own particular situation. Highly recommend. The only reason I didn't rate it 5 star is that, due to some recent law change in CA. some one thing i read was out of date.
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on November 23, 2014
As my husband neared the end of his life, I sat nearby reading this book cover to cover for an entire day. I feel far more confident about what to expect and what will be expected of me. I highly recommend this insightful and thorough book for anyone going through the loss of a loved one! Knowledge is power. This book provides the necessary knowledge.
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on December 26, 2013
David Feldman is a clinical psychologist who has done a lot of work with families facing the loss of a loved one. Co-author S. Andrew Lasher is a physician in a palliative care unit. They make a good team.

The first six chapters provide a lot of medical information and offer guidance about making the important choices a family faces as a patient deteriorates. I have read many books in this field and many lack the kind of factual medical information that this one offers. The guidance on making decisions is wise.

The next four chapters focus on the loved ones and what they face personally. These chapters are titled "How Should I Be Feeling?", "What Should I Be Saying, and "What Should I Be Doing," Parts I and II.

There is not much here for the professional hospice staff member or experienced volunteer, but that's intentional. It's directed at the suffering families and hits the bulls-eye numerous times.
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on October 31, 2012
My father recently passed away, and this book was an incredible help as we navigated his medical care and end-of-life decisions. A secondary benefit is that it helped my wife and I think about our own future needs. Bottom line: all of us, at some point, will be in situations that this book helps manage. Read it if you need it, yes - but also consider reading it before you need it.
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on May 13, 2014
I think it is a "must-have" for that time ... although you pray it never comes ... when you need to help your loved one in their final days to get through comfortably, without regrets, while keeping yourself together. Caregivers are so often just thrown into the situation, throwing their lives upside down and causing sooooo many emotions to hit them all at once - wanting to care for their loved one, wanting them better, having to deal with the possibility that they won't recover - and the question: "HOW DO I DO THIS!?!" THIS BOOK WAS A GOD-SEND - [I'm still believing for healing for my family member, but it was great to know I have something in my hands to help us ... If we had to "think" of "one more thing" in the midst of all this, HOW TO BE A CAREGIVER ...]

There are photos and explanations, for example, on how to keep them from getting bedsores. What should your loved ones diet consist of. Taking time for yourself is just as important to prevent burnout. Getting their affairs in order. (I am paraphrasing on these but you get the idea)...

There are many crucial topics in this book which must be taken care of NOW so you are already prepared should healing not come in the way you want...
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on June 17, 2015
It is realistic information, and very accurate in recognizing the signs of the end of life for a loved one. Wish I had read it much sooner in the caring process for my mother, so I would understand more about her needs and how to address them.
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on January 2, 2008
Serving as the power of attorney for a dying loved one, I felt as if I was left at sea without a paddle. This book helped crystallize my thoughts and ask the pertinent questions I wanted answered from my busy doctor. The book prepared and educated me in what to expect when my loved one approached death, but also how to facilitate the process towards an end in which conincided with what my loved one had hoped for. The valuable advice in this book enabled me to interface effectively with the medical team so that I could voice the wishes of my loved one when she was unable to do so herself. Even after the passing, I still find value in this book in finding resources in coping with my loss.
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