8 Podcasts About End-of-Life Care

Posted on 11/25/2019

Whether you’re on a long ride to visit some friends or on your morning commute to work, podcasts are a great way to simultaneously pass the time and hear moving stories from others. We’ve compiled a list of podcasts that speak to the idea of being human: confronting our mortality, the loss of loved ones and making the most out of our limited time here. These episodes approach the topic of end-of-life humorously, intellectually, sorrowfully and—simply—candidly. Check out this compilation of podcasts (descriptions of each episode adapted from their websites) and leave a comment below: what other related podcasts do you recommend?

“What does a good day look like?” That question — when asked of both terminally-ill and healthy people — has transformed Atul Gawande’s practice of medicine. A citizen physician and writer, Gawande is on the frontiers of human agency and meaning in light of what modern medicine makes possible. For the millions of people who have read his book Being Mortal, he’s also opened new conversations about the ancient human question of death and what it might have to do with life.

None of us is prepared to be caregivers — the role is thrust upon us. More than 40 million Americans are caring for an elderly parent or loved one. This episode offers six tips to make the caregiving burden more sustainable.

Finding out you have a serious medical condition can leave you reeling. These strategies from medical and lay experts will help you be in control as you navigate our complex health care system and get the best possible care. This episode helps you figure out what matters most to you, and to fight for it.

The Conversation Project’s Advisor to Faith Based Communities talks about the importance of having a conversation with your loved ones on their wishes for end of life care.

The Conversation Project’s own Kelly McCutcheon Adams, MSW, LCSW, talks about IHI’s Conversation Ready project and end of life conversations. Learn about the advantages and process of incorporating this work into healthcare systems using the Conversation Ready principles: Exemplify, Connect, Engage and Steward all of which are the foundation for Respect. The IHI white paper and tool kit are available at ihi.org.

Comedian Chris Garcia has always incorporated stories about his Cuban-American family into his sets. But after his father died from Alzheimer’s, Chris started using his comedy to process his own grief, and to memorialize his dad. He also found solace talking to other comedians who lost their own parents. You’ll hear Chris talk with his mother Ana, and with Karen Kilgariff, a fellow comedian and cohost of the podcast My Favorite Murder.

Many of us believe we know how we’d choose to die. We have a sense of how we’d respond to a diagnosis of an incurable illness. Hear the story of one family’s decades-long conversation about dying. They found that the people we are when death is far in the distance may not be the people we become when death is near.

Ellen Goodman is a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, an award-winning journalist, an author of 7 books, and the co-founder of The Conversation Project. She recently shared with The Heart of Hospice hosts her most personal story of being her mother’s caregiver, and how it inspired her to create The Conversation Project.

Ellen shared her story of being her mother’s caregiver and decision maker, and being uncertain of her mother’s wishes because they had never had THE conversation.  “We talked about everything except one thing: how she wanted to live at the end of her life.” The goal of The Conversation Project is to help people facilitate THE conversation about their end of life wishes.

Want to keep connected to The Conversation Project? Sign-up for our community engagement newsletter here or feel free to reach us at ConversationProject@ihi.org.


8 Responses

  1. Jean Graham says:

    I’d also add “Living Forever: Not an Option” focused on advanced illness, end-of-life choices, hospice and palliative care https://www.breaker.audio/living-forever-not-an-option

  2. Caregivers are the best persons, We paid them to get their home health care service but they have a very big heart they give love to our parents as we do , thanks god we have such peoples

  3. Georgie says:

    Lizzie Neville, one of Britain’s leading Death Doulas, talks with great honesty and humour about her work with the dying with podcast host Georgie Vestey in the episode, “Meetings at the Edge”: https://www.deadhonest.com/dead-honest-podcasts/meetings-at-the-edge

  4. BJ Miller and Soshana Berger have a thoughtful and engaging discussion about living life and facing death. It’s worth a listen: https://thebucket.com/podcast/bj-miller-shoshana-berger-miss-the-bus/

  5. mary lou infinito says:

    THANK – YOU for SUCH a Great list of resources to share with people. I find that so many people would rather listen to others than read an article – I think these Podcasts will continue to make a big difference in people accepting open conversations about EOL Care

  6. Please consider adding “engAging conversations” podcast as it is for adults caring for aging parents.

  7. I would like you to consider Mitch Ware’s ‘Living With Hospice’ as an addition to this list. He is a caregiver and a volunteer and has much insight into hospice issues and how the process works.


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