Live Longer -or- Die Better?

The catalyst for my career change was the end-of-life journey that our family went through following my father’s diagnosis through his passing and the firm belief that while such experiences can never be easier, they certainly could and should be less difficult.

And we had it “good”.  My father had a type of cancer that didn’t rob him of anything that clothes didn’t hide.  His intellect was intact and he painted the barn, by hand, less than a month before he died.  Indeed, as were his last words, we were truly “lucky”. Yet the anecdotes and stories that others share with me often are quite different.  It’s time we change the norm to be more like my family’s experience.  Which is what Caregiven will do.

Should I ever get Caregiven to market.  Don’t misunderstand, I am as committed if not more so to provide a service to assist families through the most difficult and emotionally overwhelming journey they’ll endure.  Yet my doubts are confirmed when I am told, as I was earlier today, “I want to invest in products that will help me live longer, not die better.”

And there we are.

There are numerous products coming to market to help our aging population do so “in place”.  That allow caregivers to monitor whether their loved one takes their medicine and immediately calls for help if they’ve fallen.  These products save caregivers from the angst and trauma of moving their loved one from a life of independence to a “facility”.   And they utilize cutting-edge technology that absolves us from guilt and enables our loved ones to live out their lives as they wish.

Should we not also seek out products that help us guide them toward their end-of-life so that those last few years or months are not full of stress and fear?  Is that not living longer if the definition of living extends beyond mere breathing?

We don’t stop living when we learn that we are dying.  Let’s ensure that we utilize the same exceptional technology used to make our living full and rewarding to enable us to make our dying better.

We're in this together...

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Candice Smith

Shortly after her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Candice Smith decided to read his favorite book, How Green Was My Valley. The impact of Richard Llewellyn's words when he wrote: “Men like my father cannot die. They are with me still, real in memory as they were in flesh, loving and beloved forever” changed how Candice viewed her father’s end-of-life journey and how she celebrates his memory. Inspired to change the experiences for all family caregivers, in 2017 Candice founded Caregiven. When she’s not advocating for how individuals, societies and cultures think and approach death, she’s celebrating living in the Pacific NW with her husband, two children, family and friends (pets included).

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