May 12, 2023
The Final Chapter: A Kandid Chat on End of Life Matters & Dying Your Way!
On this episode of The Kandid Shop Podcast, I had the opportunity to have a much-needed chat about death, dying, and end-of-life matters with two amazing guests.
* Jenni Herchenbach, a death doula, end-of-life coach, grief tender, and founder of Flourish Collaborative
* Amy Hensley, an RN hospice nurse, end-of-life educator, and co-founder of Sip and Wishes.
The Stats: According to a Pew Institute study:
* Only 27% of people have talked with their loved ones about end-of-life care despite 90% saying that it is important.
* 60% of people believe that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is extremely important, but 56% have not yet communicated their end-of-life wishes.
* The lack of knowledge about how to create a plan is one of the reasons people don't write down their wishes and values for end-of-life care.
* It is important to pursue a good death since everyone will die eventually. ~Jenni Herchenbach
* People want honesty about end-of-life care. They want to have control over who is in the room, what they smell, what they look like, and other details. ~Jenni Herchenbach.
* People want the opportunity to have a conversation about their end-of-life wishes, and the floodgates can open once the conversation starts. ~Amy Hensley
* Preparing, educating oneself, and having end-of-life conversations can be an incredible gift to our loved ones. ~Amy Hensley
* Documenting our end-of-life wishes can be incredibly helpful. This can include things such as advanced directives, living wills, and durable power of attorney for healthcare. ~Amy Hensley
* People tend to downplay their feelings, especially when it comes to grief. ~Jenni Herchenbach
* Starting small is a good approach to having an uncomfortable conversation about end-of-life matters. ~Jenni Herchenbach
* It is important to start having these conversations early on and to revisit them periodically as our wishes and circumstances may change. ~Amy Hensley
* Encouraging children to have these conversations is beneficial and can lead to a more open dialogue. ~Amy Hensley
* Educating oneself on medical interventions and knowing one's own definition of living, can help guide end-of-life decisions. ~Amy Hensley
Talking about the end of life can be difficult and uncomfortable for many people, yet it is an important conversation that everyone should have. Being comfortable with end-of-life conversations involves having the knowledge, skills, and confidence to communicate effectively with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals about topics related to death and dying. It can be a challenging and emotionally sensitive area of healthcare, but it is an essential aspect of providing quality care to patients at the end of their lives.
Guest Contact Details
Jenni Herchenbach is a death doula, end-of-life coach, and grief specialist. As an occupational therapist, Jenni learned to sit with patients and families in the tender spaces built by grief — grief that accompanies illness, disease, injury, and death. At the beginning of the pandemic, Jenni took a deeper dive into all things death, dying, and grief and received certifications as an end-of-life coach and sacred passage doula. Jenni founded Flourish Collaborative to normalize conversations about death. Jenni is here to encourage and accompany you in the pursuit of your unique, good death.
Amy Hensley is a compassionate hospice nurse and co-founder of Sips and Wishes. With a Master of Science in Nursing and a background in graphic design, she brings a unique perspective to end-of-life care and advocacy. Her catchphrase, "From uncomfortable comes change," reflects her belief that difficult conversations can lead to positive outcomes.
As the oldest daughter and sister, Amy values honesty, courage, and authenticity. She strives to empower others to advocate for themselves and move one notch more comfortably, wherever they may be. Her strengths include harmony, discipline, consistency, connectedness, and relator.
After teaching nursing for several years, Amy realized that her true passions lay in end-of-life care and education. She became a hospice nurse and end-of-life educator, using humor, awareness, and understanding to approach difficult conversations with grace. By giving a gift to loved ones through preparing, educating, and documenting, she hopes to ease the burden on families and prevent the complicated grief that can arise from guessing and making decisions.
In her personal life, Amy defines herself as a mama bear, supportive friend, movie lover, and social introvert. She has found her voice and the strength to use it and encourages others to do the same. With her values and passion for end-of-life care, Amy Hensley is making a difference in the lives of those she touches.
Intro music: "Welcome To The Kandid Shop" by Anthony Nelson aka BUSS