Physician advises 'tender loving care' for dying loved ones

November 07, 2003

To physician Ira Byock, "dying well" means giving progressively ill loved ones and patients a sense of comfort and the best possible quality of life during their remaining years.

"The best care possible for our loved ones requires love ... tender loving care," Byock said Thursday during the Continuing Care Beyond Cure symposium at Robinwood Medical Center.

Byock said actions such as brushing a loved one's hair, giving them a hug or making sure they're clean can help them retain their dignity as they are dying.

Byock is the director of The Palliative Care Service in Missoula, Mont., and author of "Dying Well: The Prospect for Growth at the End of Life."


He holds several other positions related to end-of-life care.

Palliative care is patient-centered and encourages family involvement in planning and providing care catered to the patient's desires, according to information provided at the symposium.

The day-long symposium was sponsored by the Washington County Hospital and was aimed at providing health care professionals with palliative care practices.

The event counted toward continuing medical education credits for professionals.

Maryland Assistant Attorney General Jack Schwartz, Hospice of the Good Shepherd Medical Director Carolyn Classen and Dillon Woods, president of the Living With Quality Foundation, also made presentations.

- Tara Reilly

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