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Posted February 6, 2011
Frances Shani Parker is a very skillful writer and poet who uses beautifully written anecdotes and heartwarming poetry to heighten the readers' awareness of subjects many people fear, death and caring for the dying. I was moved by Ms. Parker's storytelling ability and her perceptive writing that shared with the readers real people and real situations she experienced as an urban hospice volunteer. This book can be used easily as a reference to support individuals, health care workers and legislators who are committed to the improvement of assisting people with dying with dignity. You will definitely enjoy reading this inspiring book on a subject that will touch all of our lives. In fact, I enjoyed the book so much that I suggested it for my monthly book club meeting. The book club members also found the book very informative and several people were inspired to enroll for training as hospice volunteers. If you have a fear or hesitation of reading a book on dying or what to do when forced with the situation of being a caregiver for a dying loved one, this enlightening book is a must read. Faire CarterWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 14, 2010
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice
Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes
Author: Frances Shani Parker
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
Frances Shani Parker has woven a beautiful and touching tapestry of life and death; sharing her stories and poems about the very memorable and wonderful patients she worked with as a hospice volunteer. Already extremely busy as a principal, the author decided to learn about becoming a hospice volunteer. Following the workshops, she began her volunteer stint working with patients in urban nursing homes. She chose to visit patients in nursing homes because she believed they were probably less likely to have family and other visitors, and may be in need of outside companionship . Most of her patients were African America, but of course she had some patients of other ethnic groups also.
By sharing her experiences as a hospice volunteer, she allows her readers to take a look inside a situation most of us know nothing about. Through these stories, we learn about the individual patients she works with, along with gaining a much more thorough understanding of the entire hospice system and philosophy. Dying with dignity and peacefullness is something that we all deserve. Hospice care is an important part of ensuring that many people can experience death this way. Numerous races, ages, religious and spiritual beliefs, and life experiences are illustrated here. The process of dying is something that we, as a society, tend to ignore or leave undiscussed. The role of an individual's life experiences, mindset, ability to communicate and religious beliefs all play a huge part in how they interpret the process of death. Ms. Parker has included poetry along with short stories to share her impressions of her patients. In every instance, she found herself learning more about life, and by sharing these lessons we can learn them too.
The book does a great service by bringing the details of hospice to the general reader. We learn how the hospice system can fit into the healthcare system (or lack thereof) in our country today. The final portion of the book is a "tour" of what could be described as the epitome of the place that we all wish we could utilize for ourselves or family members as we/they face the end of life on earth. With the aging of the baby boomer segment of our population, the needs of Americans from the hospice care system becomes greater and greater.
These stories are offered with love and respect by the author to each reader, and you feel that caring and warmth that she offered to each patient she worked with. I will remember many of the stories and the patients they illustrate for some time to come. It's both touching and thought-provoking, and would be a book appreciated at many different levels by all readers. Exceptional ! !
Posted November 28, 2009
If you work with the aging or the dying, you need to read this book. This book is a pleasure to read as it not only addresses the important issues within our nursing homes, Ms. Parker's writing is lyrical and a joy. The book begins with the personal stories of those living and dying in nursing homes. In the last section of her book, she talks about how we can improve our nursing home systems. Things can get better and Ms. Parker can guide us along our way.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 14, 2009
Becoming Dead Right by Frances Shari Parker is a wonderful, touching, moving portrait of what it means to help another person die "right". I chose to read this book because I have an aging parent living with me and I am worried about how to help with the end of his life and what I can do to help it be pain free, gentle, and "right". Through stories of her work with Hospice Ms. Parker shows us how each and every person deserves to die with peace, dignity, and pain free. She was a school principal and almost accidentally happened into her volunteer work with Hospice after helping two people who were dying. This book was so touching that I couldn't put it down and read it in two hours. I thought it might upset and depress me but I came away hopeful and really wanting to help bring about the vision Parker sets out for the perfect "Baby Boomer Haven."
The stories of her work with Hospice patients in nursing homes are told like she is your friend sitting next to you talking about her experiences. The descriptions of the people she worked with and helped were real and not sugar coated. There are a lot of lessons in this book about how we should treat people who are dying and how to help their families, as well as how our nursing homes should be set up and run. She gives a great description of Hospice and the work that it's volunteers do. Anyone who is thinking about becoming a volunteer or plans on working with people who are dying should read this book and gain some idea what it might be like.
The last chapter contains a wonderful "tour" of what the perfect nursing/retirement home would be like and it is called "Baby Boomer Haven". Every detail is described and it is truly a beautiful place. It made me wonder why we don't already have this type of home and how we can have them in the future. If more people cared like described in this book we could all become dead---right. A wonderful hopeful book that I recommend highly.
Posted January 12, 2009
In her book "Becoming Dead Right", Frances Shani Parker displays an extraordinary love of humankind and demonstrates to the reader the importance of care and consideration for people who are often shunned and neglected in the last days of their life. It is refreshing to know that such kindness exists. The message the book delivers is a lesson to all of us in how to dedicate our lives to helping others, how to accept differences within the wide spectrum of races, ethnicities and cultures and is a must read for everyone facing the challenges of how to cope with the death experience.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 3, 2008
Reading Frances Shani Parker¿s Becoming Dead Right brought a new understanding and acceptance of the death journey to me. Her insightful stories and Ten Tips for Becoming Dead Right helped me process the recent death of a family member and two of my closest neighbors and friends. Two of her tips that were especially helpful to me were:<BR/><BR/>¿ Be informed and proactive.<BR/>¿ Put death wishes in writing.<BR/><BR/>The book, as a whole, gave me a broader perspective on death and dying. I found reading it to be a very worthwhile experience.<BR/><BR/>Johnnie Boyer<BR/>Retired Educator and AdministratorWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 25, 2008
Author Frances Shani Parker demonstrates sound judgement and farsightedness in this publication. She weaves a captivating, intricate, insightful, empathetic and even amusing tapestry on the subjects of near death and dying issues. Written from an insider's perspective, as she worked for many years as a hospice and nursing home volunteer, the book is replete with stories well told and lessons well taught. The book is a must read not just for medical professionals and caregivers, but for everyone concerned with the implementation of best practices in hospice and nursing care facilities nation wide.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 21, 2008
This book, ¿Becoming Dead Right¿, has opened my eyes as to how important the little things are to someone who is ill. I am experiencing an illness that is incurable, but friends and acquaintances encourage me by saying kind words, and doing nice thing for me. They brush my hair, rub my hands, give small gifts, hug and kiss me, lie beside me, and just lift my spirit in any way they can. That means a lot to a sick person. We don't feel so lonely and alone. Everyone needs to feel loved, and it does not take a lot. By letting patients know that they are loved, showing them that you care, just might cause them to want to live a little longer or maybe save their life. We never know, but it sure does not hurt to try. This author has really inspired me. I hope more people read this book. The author of this book has given us very important information to help patients and families deal with these kinds of illnesses. Some of you will be surprised to know how much these technical skills will help lift a patient¿s spirits.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 20, 2008
I have read 'Becoming Dead Right' several times, and I can't get enough of it. Each time I read it, I learn something new. I have learned so much about how to treat different kinds of illnesses, and I was able to use some of these techniques with my sister-in-law before she passed. Almost too late for a friend of mine, she had the book briefly before she lost her mother to dementia. She went to see her mother every day, but did not really know what to do or how to treat her, other than loving her and being nice to her. Sometimes her mother was afraid of her. I loaned her my book, and she was so excited to learn some of the simple things that makes a patient happy and content. She lost her mother over a month ago, but she had time to do some of the little extra things we don't think about because of the ilness. We sometimes thnk people with dementia don't comprehend what is going on around then, and sometimes that is true. But there are times when they are alert, and that is a good time to talk about things you know they like, remember or did. Those were the happiest times I had with my brother. It would seem like old times when he was alert, but there were times when he did not remember me, and that was sad for all of us. When he was in that state of mind, I would sit and talk to him, kiss him, rub his head, things that I knew he liked. That would make him happy. At times, it made him look up at me and call my name, smile and ask, 'When did you come in?' I am excited about 'Becoming Dead Right.' There is so much information in this book to help us know what to do if we have a family member or friend with these kinds of illnesses. This book has taught me a lot of things that I can tell others about when it comes to the welfare and care of their families or patients.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 28, 2011
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Posted November 8, 2009
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Posted February 15, 2009
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Posted January 7, 2009
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