Saturday, March 1, 2008

Detroit Hospice Volunteer Interview (Podcast) with Frances Shani Parker: Patient Advocacy, Nursing Homes, Acceptance of Death

You can listen to this Detroit Today podcast interview hosted by Craig Fahle at WDET 101.9 FM Radio.

The following conversation is from Becoming Dead Right. It is an example of a hospice patient’s acceptance of death that I refer to in the Detroit radio interview above. The patient is having this discussion with me:

“How old did you tell me I was?”

“You’re ninety-nine, and you’ll be a hundred years old on your next birthday.”
“A hundred years old is too old. I don’t think I want to be that old.”

“There are three other ladies in this nursing home who are older than that. One is a hundred three. We talked to her last week during your wheelchair ride.”

“How much longer will it be before I make a hundred? I don’t know if I want to wait too much longer.”

“It’s only one more month. I remember you said you had spiritual talks with your minister. If you decide to wait, I’ll get you a big balloon that looks like a birthday cake.”

“I guess I could wait. Yes, I think I will wait. That way I can celebrate my hundredth birthday. When I do get to heaven, I can tell everybody I lived to be one hundred.” And that’s exactly what she did.

Praise for Frances Shani Parker's book Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes from Roger Woodruff, Director of Palliative Care, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia

"A school principal turned hospice volunteer, Frances Shani Parker relates her experiences with dying people in nursing homes. The second part of the book is about what we as individuals and as a society must do to improve things for those who are dying. I particularly enjoyed the guided tour, conducted from a wheelchair, of Baby Boomer Haven."

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog


  1. My name is Justin and I am a volunteer coordinator in Lewiston Maine for Beacon Hospice. I am going to provide this link to my volunteers through a newsletter I am creating. I cant wait to listen to your insigts and get a copy of your book!

  2. Thanks for responding, Justin. I appreciate your getting the book and providing a link for your volunteers. I wish you all the very best.