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Barbara Karnes Registered Nurse

Barbara Karnes, RN Award Winning End of Life Educator, Award Winning Nurse, NHPCO Hospice Innovator Award Winner 2018 & 2015 International Humanitarian Woman of the Year

While at the bedside of hundreds of people during the dying process, Hospice Pioneer Barbara Karnes noticed that each death was following a near identical script. Each person was going through the stages of death in almost the same manner and most families came to her with similar questions. These realizations led Barbara to sit down and write Gone From My Sight, "The Little Blue Book" that changed the hospice industry.

Books Authored By Barbara Karnes

Recent Content

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The True Value of End of Life Support

There are just two ways to die: fast and gradual. Gradual death has a process to it. If it were happenstance and just happened, it would be a fast death. Gradual death occurs either because of old age…

There are just two w…

There are just two ways to die: fast and gradual. Gradual death has a process to it. If it were happenstance and just happened, it would be a fast death. Gradual death occurs either because of old age or disease. With disease the process begins months before actual death and in old age the process takes years. Most people have never considered what has been written in the above paragraph. Yet everyone will be faced with the experience of death, whether it be that of someone they care about or their own. Throughout most of American society the idea of dying is held in the back recesses of the m…

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Hospice Services Pulled for Dementia Patient

I got a letter about a hospice agency ending services for a woman whose only diagnosis was dementia . As sad as I am to hear those stories (and I get many) I am not surprised. These families have had …

I got a letter about…

I got a letter about a hospice agency ending services for a woman whose only diagnosis was dementia . As sad as I am to hear those stories (and I get many) I am not surprised. These families have had the comprehensive services of hospice for months, even a year or so and then they are  withdrawn because the person is no longer eligible. These discharges are happening because dementia doesn’t play by the rules for end of life. It isn’t until eating becomes a problem that the dying process really begins.  Dementia seems to be in a category of its own. It doesn’t fit into Home Health serv…

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Supporting Survivors of Suicide Loss

Dear Barbara, A friend of mine had a child commit suicide.  Do you have reference material that I might use to help my friend? Part of normal Grief is all the questions we will never have answers to,…

Dear Barbara, A frie…

Dear Barbara, A friend of mine had a child commit suicide.  Do you have reference material that I might use to help my friend? Part of normal Grief is all the questions we will never have answers to, the whys and what if’s? With death by suicide those questions are ten fold. With a child’s death by suicide those questions are a so much more. Blame is a feeling and series of thoughts we also have surrounding a death by suicide. Blaming others, blaming the person that died, and blaming ourselves. “If we had done things differently this life would not have been taken” is paramount in our…

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Caring For an Elder Who Needs to Eat

Dear Barbara, My father fell, was hospitalized and is now home. He just isn’t eating—popsicles but nothing else. The doctors have not offered any suggestions. What should I do? The elderly, after …

Dear Barbara, My fat…

Dear Barbara, My father fell, was hospitalized and is now home. He just isn’t eating—popsicles but nothing else. The doctors have not offered any suggestions. What should I do? The elderly, after a fall or illness, often are not much interested in eating. If there are no other health issues, they gradually return to normal eating. In the meantime here are some ideas:  * 3 meals a day are too many and too much.  * Offer small, high protein snacks (custards, cheese and crackers, egg bites, ice cream, smoothies with protein and calories) four times a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedti…

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Holiday Celebrations and the Grief-Wound

In our Grief, holiday celebrations tend to reopen the Grief-wound.  We tend to play the “elephant in the room” game at the mention of our missing loved one. “If we don’t talk about how sad we…

In our Grief, holida…

In our Grief, holiday celebrations tend to reopen the Grief-wound.  We tend to play the “elephant in the room” game at the mention of our missing loved one. “If we don’t talk about how sad we are feeling we won’t spoil the day for others” is a common belief we carry into gatherings.  The fallacy in this kind of thinking is that everyone is sad and missing this special person and they are all thinking the same about each other. SO bring those feelings out into the open and share them. At the beginning of the get together, allow yourself to say, “It just isn’t going to be the s…

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