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Dispelling Myths About Hospice

Hospice…the word often evokes feelings of sadness and hopelessness, yet hospice is so much more. It’s not about adding days to someone’s life, it’s about adding life to someone’s days. Watch this video presented by VITAS Hospice to learn more…


Photo courtesy of Flickr and bfraz

I was sent the story I am about to share and I always give credit to the author but I have no idea who wrote this beautiful piece. It brought tears to my eyes which is not why I am sharing but rather that I hope it helps each of us to reach out to others. As you read this story remember that people may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

“I arrived at the address where someone had requested a taxi. I honked but no one came out. I honked again, nothing. So I walked to the door and knocked. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. (more…)


Spotlight Senior Services, one of the Southwest United States’ premiere publishers of Senior Resource Guides, has added online digital editions to their updated website. In doing so, Spotlight Senior Services, becomes the first publisher in their geography, including Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, to move their 5 guides into the digital publishing age. “The desire to innovate and give my advertisers an in-road into web 2.0 technologies made converting my paper publications into online digital editions an easy decision”, states Kyle Lewis, owner and publisher of The Spotlight Senior Services and Living Options Guide. “In addtion we were very excited to expand our publishing footprint from regional to global virtually overnight. Working with After55 Media Group and has energized my advertisers and has changed my business forever. It’s one thing to work with a digital publisher but with After55 Media Group, both owners are Certified Senior Advisors and really understand my target readers and my advertisers”. Spotlight currently has guides in Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott, Arizona and Las Vegas and New Mexico. For more information about Spotlight Senior Services and Living Options go to: .

Hospice Chaplains Take Up Bedside Counseling

(Photo courtesy of Flickr and Tidewater Muse)

Being at the bedside of a dying person is a profound and often life-changing experience. It was for me. I got to know more about my dad and who he was as he was dying than in all of the previous years he was alive. Having had a traditional fear of dying, I was not prepared for the honesty and raw emotion that comes with helping a person die “well”. In the end, it was the hospice people that showed us incredible grace and compassion. I am forever grateful for their dedication to families like mine.

It was with great interest that I read the following article from today’s NY Times, about the new breed of non-denominational hospice chaplains. They are true heroes and deserves our deep admiration. I hope you enjoy the story: (more…)

After 55 Living Radio Episode 18 – Hospice Programs for Dementia Patients

This episode features Jan Dougherty, Family and Community Services Director at Arizona’s Banner Alzheimer’s Institute. Jan is responsible for setting new standards of care for patients with dementia and their families through the development of innovative programs.  She has developed many pioneering programs being used in Arizona and nationally.

Jan was named “Gerontologist of the Year” in 2003 by the AZ Geriatrics Society and received the “Caring Spirit Award” in 2005 from the Area Agency on Aging, Region One. She was awarded the Vision Award in 2006 from Hospice of the Valley, the Nation’s largest non-profit hospice organization. We were honored to have an opportunity to speak with her about some of the programs she has pioneered.

Press PLAY button to listen to this podcast:


After 55 Living Radio Episode 16 – Volunteering for Hospice

Learn about Hospice from Linda Vance, Director of Volunteer Services for Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona. She talks about how hospice cares for the family unit, how to use Medicare to pay for hospice care and how hospice care is not only for the last 48 hours of life.

Volunteers are a vital part of the day-today operations of hospice. Find out about how volunteering for hospice can be a life changing experience.

Press PLAY to listen to this podcast:


Hospice Care – In The Hospital Or At Home?


This video shows the tough decisions a family must go through when end of life decisions need to be made. I believe the majority of us, if given the choice, would prefer to die in our own home. The family in the video has a family meeting and they discuss all the options for caring for their loved one. We brought in hospice for my parents as they wanted to be at home for their final moments. With my father-in-law, the decision was made for him to be in the hospice wing of a local hospital. From having seen both at-home hospice and hospice within the hospital, I would proceed differently (more…)

The Angels of Hospice


(photo courtesy of Metrogirl and Flickr)

Click Here to read a great article on what hospice is. I am sometimes still amazed at the lack of knowledge society has with regard to hospice. Most people still only think of calling hospice in the final days of the death process and also don’t know that hospice is covered as a benefit by Medicare. I have never met a person working in hospice that was anything less than gentle, compassionate and just the epitome of what giving is all about. Death and dying (more…)

The holidays – and the grieving – are over!

The two weeks I dreaded are over. It has been six months, almost to the day, since my dad passed and the first holiday without him has come and gone.

As expected every Christmas carol brought a moist eye and every football game reminded me that dad was no longer around to call. What I didn’t expect was to see how strong my mother has been and how well she got through the holiday season. (more…)

Lung Cancer – life doesn’t have to end in 6 months

Lung Cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and woman. Lung cancer has been prevalent throughout my family but so has smoking. I watch young people standing with their peers, all puffing away and having no inkling of the possibility of lung cancer.

Yes, lung cancer has a high mortality rate but if caught early, surgery can be performed and the cancer can be cured. 87% of those who end up with lung cancer are smokers so STOP SMOKING! The Lung Association has a new program and a new way to stop smoking though it’s Freedom From Smoking clinic. It can be found at 

Here are the symptoms of lung cancer although by the time they occur the cancer is usually advanced: … (more…)