Barbara Karnes

Barbara Karnes is a Registered Nurse and author of the Little Blue Book that changed the hospice industry. Her book Gone From My Sight has been in print continuously since 1985 and has sold over eight million copies. It has been instrumental in creating one of the most important tools in the Hospice movement today: the patient/family educational booklet.

Barbara Karnes: The Three Key Signs of Approaching Death

When thinking about how to define the stages of death, I was surprised to discover that one of the major search words on Google for end of life issues is “stages of death”. Surprised because dead is dead. Well, you…

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Making Treatment Decisions

What are we trying to achieve by treatment? That is THE question everyone involved in medical decision making needs to ask. Who is everyone?  Physician, patient, and family. Most people (patients and family) faced with an illness look for the…

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Making the Shift ~ Caregiving and Alzheimer’s

I received an email asking, “What do you think about families that insist their Alzheimer’s patient get out of bed and be with others when all the patient wants to do is sleep, stay prone, and not eat or drink?”…

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Compassion Fatigue

QUESTION: Wikipedia states: “Compassion fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress (STS), is a condition characterized by a gradual lessening of compassion over time. It is common among individuals that work directly with trauma victims such as nurses, psychologists, and…

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One of Our Own ~ Hospice Nurse in Hospice

I’ve been asked this question: Could you talk about healthcare workers, hospice workers specifically, who have a loved one in hospice? We might feel we have all the answers, but we are human before we are hospice workers. When my…

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Don’t Go Where You’re Not Invited, Reaching out to One in need

Barbara Karnes, RN

Over the years people have told me stories of a friend or neighbor who was dealing with end of life issues. They then have asked that I call that person and talk with them. I learned the embarrassing way to…

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Barbara Karnes: Child-like Treatment of the Elderly

Dear Barbara,  I have hired an LPN, who is probably well-intentioned, yet has some qualities that I feel are inappropriate in caring for my mother. She talks about my mother as if she is not there or cannot hear. She…

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Barbara Karnes: Closure with Dad at End of Life

Dear Barbara, My father and I have always had a difficult relationship. He is now approaching death. What do I do? There is no perfect relationship. Life is a series of easy and difficult  experiences. Some relationship are just more…

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Are They Overmedicating Mom? asks Barbara Karnes

I received the following comment on my Blog. “They are overmedicating Mom” (The family said of hospice professionals). “Following a brief rally, she slept most of the time and died within a week.” Her sons concluded she was being overmedicated…

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Bereavement with Death of a Child, by Barbara Karnes

Dear Barbara, Three years ago my child died.  Why can’t I move on? It seems I am stuck in pain all the time. I can’t think of any loss greater than the loss of a child, although I’ve had people disagree with…

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