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Graceful Exit: How to Advocate Effectively, Take Care of Yourself, and Be Present for the Death of a Loved One

Graceful Exit: How to Advocate Effectively, Take Care of Yourself, and Be Present for the Death of a Loved One

by Gustavo Ferrer M.D.


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When we are thrust into the role of caregiver for a loved one who is in the process of dying, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Yet it’s a situation millions of us face every year with virtually no sort of preparation or guidance. With Graceful Exit, Dr. Gustavo Ferrer offers an all-in-one resource for anyone tasked with managing the end-of-life care of a loved one.

Dr. Ferrer shares the essential steps we need to take in a way that can be tailored to our unique situation. Through checklists, plans, and step-by-step instructions reflecting his years of experience supporting patients and their families, Dr. Ferrer offers clear and compassionate guidance for the most difficult issues, including:

What are your rights under Medicare and health insurance?
• When should you bring your family together?
• How can you be a caregiver without burning yourself out?
• What are the pros and cons of advanced medical treatment versus hospice at each end-of-life stage?
• Most importantly, how do we say goodbye in a way that brings healing, closure, and peace?

It’s the last news we want to hear—that someone we love is dying. Yet it's an inevitable part of life. With Graceful Exit, Dr. Ferrer offers this much-needed guide through the medical, legal, financial, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of dying and death.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683640448
Publisher: Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 1,098,543
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Gustavo Ferrer
GUSTAVO FERRER, MD, has specialized in end-of-life care for more than 15 years. He has received several prestigious awards, including being named as one of the Best Doctors in the US by US News & World Report, Most Compassionate Doctor, and Patients’ Choice Award. He lives in South Florida. For more, visit

Table of Contents

Preface: Death Is Not Failure ix

Introducion: The New Rules of Dying xiii

1 Getting Everyone on the Same Page 1

2 Letting Head and Heart Guide You Through the Hardest Decisions 21

3 Your Best Ally 41

Working with the Medical Team

4 What to Do When Your Loved One Still Has Some Time 69

Hospice, Palliative Care, Long-Term Life Support, and Other Considerations

5 Who Pays? 95

Medicare, Spending Down, Long-Term Care Policies, and More

6 Legacies and Regrets 107

The Importance of Having Final Conversations about Life

7 Grieving, Letting Go, and Acceptance 123

Lessons from the Orinoco

8 Post-Death Paperwork 137

Funerals, Taxes, Passwords, and More

9 Planning an Event You Don't Want to Attend 157

Epilogue: For Every Season 173

Acknowledgments 175

Notes 177

About the Author 181

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