I'm Ready. Will You Help Me?

On Friday morning, Viki Kind, author of The Caregivers Path to Compassionate Decision Making, joined me on Your Caregiving Journey. You can listen to our show via the player at the bottom of the post.

Our show focused on how to handle a really tough situation: Your caree, who is not cognitively impaired, makes a conscious decision to stop eating and drinking. In essence, your caree makes the decision to die.

The inspiration for our show as book a book and a newspaper article. In her book, A Bittersweet Season, Jane Gross writes about her mom's decision to voluntarily stop eating and drinking (VSED). Jane supports her mom's decision and her mom's choice to die. The New York Times Old Age Blog recently featured an article about VSED (Deciding to Die, Then Shown the Door).

During the talk show, Viki offered tips on how to talk to your caree about his or her decision and then how to work through such a decision in your mind and heart. Hospice can be a great resource and support as well as a ethics committee in a hospital (if your caree is hospitalized when he or she makes the decision).

Viki also said that the decision to die by stopping eating and drinking can be a comfortable death. A 2003 survey of hospice nurses found that these nurses indicate a patient who has stopped eating and drinking had a good death.

After you've listened to our show, please share your comments and thoughts, below.


  • You can listen to shows and read articles about end-of-life care and decisions here.

Listen to internet radio with Denise Brown on Blog Talk Radio

Join our mailing list

Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter that includes caregiving tips, news, support and more.