Local Somerville resident Alan Bingham has just published a guide book on how to manage life when faced with terminal disease. Titled “Dying Well Prepared:Conversations and Choices for Terminal Patients”, the book is published by Outskirts Press and available on Amazon as paperback or e-book.
Unlike other publications on end-of-life that follow a person’s decline, this book is a guide based on broad experience of the author in his work in hospice. “There are many useful personal end-of-life care voyages written, and many specific helpful guides that can help with some aspects of the end of life journey. But none that pulled together in one place the range of issues that most people had talked to me about”, said Alan Bingham.
The issues covered in the book include choices on the options on where to live, how to organize your home and affairs, making advance directives, selecting lawyers and medical help as well as advice on pain and pain management. The conversations include how to talk with friends and families, lawyers, caregivers, and medical professionals and include suggested dialog on the language you can use for introducing and discussing each of these topics. It delves into how to define and document your legacy (ethical wills) and discusses ethics and morals in end-of-life healthcare.
Checklists are provided with tips on how to use them. The book can be read from cover to cover, or just referenced by section according to need.
Alan Bingham added, “When I retired from hospice I wanted to share the information I had gleaned over the years so that people faced with the news of imminent end of life had something that could be of help. I spoke with so many people who did not know what to do next that I knew I had to do something to help. The topic of dying is something seldom discussed, almost a taboo, so few people know how to handle it or where to look for help and advice. I hope this book will provide some insight and assistance.”
Alan Bingham lives in the Davis Square area of Somerville and is a volunteer ombudsman for long term care facilities. He was awarded the James ‘Cotton’ Tingle Award by Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services in 2016 for service to Seniors.
About Alan Bingham:
During my career I worked in hospice and found that when faced with end-of-life news most people are woefully unprepared as to what their next steps could and should be. These next steps include how to handle and discuss the situation, what to do to make the most of their remaining days and ensure their legacy.
I searched for a book, a guide that I could recommend to people, not just a narrative on a specific person’s struggles but more of a helpful handbook. Something that outlined the challenges, the resources they could look for, and what to expect. While some excellent publications address some of the issues, none seemed to me to address the broader spectrum of issues in a general way. Issues such as what to say to friends and family (including tips on language that could be used), what your medical wishes are, what your life has meant to name just a few. In short how to address living the last months and getting the care you need fearlessly.