Care at Home During the End of Life: Choosing Hospice and Appreciating Death

corecubedHome Care Education, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Podcasts, Resources, Season Three

Beth Cavenaugh


In today’s episode of Help Choose Home, we’re joined by Beth Cavenaugh, a certified hospice and palliative care nurse and author of Some Light at the End, An End-of-Life Guidebook for Patients Their Caregivers. Her book is an invitation to walk towards the powerful end of life instead of running away from it.

Beth has been a hospice nurse for 15 years and a nurse for 25 in home settings, in-patient units, and hospitals. She specializes in helping demystify death for patients and their families while cultivating an appreciation for the end of life. She also has a private reiki practice which helps support physical, emotional, and spiritual healing for adults and teens.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How to work with hospice teams even when you’re not emotionally ready to accept the end.
  • The care at home support options available for those who wish to die at home.
  • Ways to be radically present with your loved one as they approach death, and some small rituals you can use to mark the event.

Below are some highlights from our conversation:

  • [2:00] Beth discusses her professional background and what led her to write her book.
  • [5:00] Discover helpful prompts to help you emotionally prepare for the end of life.
  • [5:55] Beth shares ways to welcome and celebrate the end stage of life by reflecting on her own mother’s death.
  • [8:07] Learn more about Beth’s book, and how it helps the public walk through the process of dying.
  • [11:21] Beth discusses her current work as a hospice nurse at an in-patient center, and her end-of-life care blog.
  • [12:47] Learn when it’s time to forgo curative treatment and lean into living out the remaining days of life in hospice.
  • [14:15] Beth reflects on why patients might be resistant to accepting hospice care, and gives advice on how to interact with doctors who recommend hospice.
  • [16:43] Explore the support options available for those who choose to die at home.
  • [19:24] Learn how to get a copy of Beth’s book, and where to find her online.
  • [19:43] Discover the power and sacredness of remaining at the bedside of a loved one during his or her death, including offering a ritual.

After listening to today’s episode, I think that like me, you’ll come away with a greater understanding and appreciation for the way hospice care at home can support families who wish to be there for their loved ones as they approach death. By partnering with a hospice team and making plans for the end of life early on, you can be radically present at the sacred event that is the passing of a loved one.

You can listen to today’s episode here, or on Apple Podcasts, GoogleYouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.

To learn more about how partnering with hospice care can prepare you or a loved one for the end of life, listen to my interview with Jan Jones, RN, BSN, recently retired CEO of The Elizabeth Hospice in San Diego, California. Learn how hospice combines the expertise of doctors, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, home health aides and volunteers to create an intradisciplinary team that provides care for individuals and their families during times of life-limiting illness.

If this episode has been helpful, be sure to leave a five-star review and share the podcast with your friends to help us in the national effort to educate about home health care options! You can connect with me, Merrily Orsini, on Twitter@MerrilyO.


The Help Choose Home podcast series is a collaborative effort by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), Axxess, and corecubed to educate the public about the many benefits of the in-home care industry, which includes non-medical home care, private duty nursing care, medical home health, hospice, and other in-home health and wellness services.

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The Help Choose Home podcast series provides information and resources to help those with a care need learn more about healthcare at home. Podcasts are hosted by Merrily Orsini, Founder/Board Chair of corecubed, a marketing firm dedicated exclusively to helping aging care providers grow their business.