Institute for the Cycles of Life, LLC
Deb Torres, LCSW
Facilitator of Final Wishes
Most families have questions about the end of life. There is often a fear of talking about the disease processes and concern about how to support the wishes of loved ones. As a facilitator of final wishes, I guide families through these difficult conversations with pieces of peace and transitions of trust built along the journey. Common topics are: frail elder care situations, significant medical issues, Medicare guidelines, Medicaid applications, goal of care conversations, Power of Attorney paperwork, and DNR (Do not Resuscitate) forms.
Family members have different knowledge levels about end of life and are often uncomfortable with physical changes of the body, the challenges of saying good-bye, and the choices to be made regarding a child's presence in the room at the end of life.
I come along side to help each family member weigh out the choices to be made and what would be most meaningful for them.
Being "caught in the middle" is a common sentiment for today's family members. There is a tremendous amount of stress and pressure to care for children and aging parents at the same time. When a medical crisis occurs, decisions often have to be made quickly. Becoming educated before the crisis can ease the stress on all members of a family, including the loved one in crisis.
In this role, I meet face to face with family members in person, if possible, or Skype, face time, and zoom for out-of-town members, to facilitate the needed conversations and assist in acquiring paperwork.
The goal is to discuss long term planning for loved ones to ensure individuals age with dignity and safety, and family members can honor their wishes.
Again, I know that you do not know me personally so I have included comments from people below.
"Deb Torres is a brilliant and passionate social worker who specializes in life transitions. She is an advocate, resource, and very easy to talk to. I run an Alzheimer's caregiver support group at Frisbie Senior Center and we had the pleasure of hosting Deb. After she educated my group about POA, DNR, and answered their questions I received many thanks from our members for bringing her. Our receptionists informed me that participants seemed to walk in with some anxiety, and looked relaxed (some even happy) when they left our group. I am so grateful to Deb and impressed by how good she is at her work. Thank you, Deb!"
"Deb Torres is an amazing, compassionate, and knowledgeable woman. A few months ago, I had the hardest decision of my life - to carry out my dad's wishes for his end of life care and remove him from life support. In some ways, I was grateful for the suddenness of his failing, but in other ways, the whirlwind pace of those days in the hospital was overwhelming. I was not only exhausted and emotionally drained, but quite clueless and helpless in that CCU setting in the hospital. Deb was with me (and my dad) for many, many hours that final day. She made sure my dad was never alone in that hospital room and would hold his hand as she encouraged me to step out for a few minutes to make a phone call or use the bathroom. She was a wealth of information concerning procedures and did such an amazing job explaining and preparing me for each step along this very hard path. She served as a go-between, asking the nurses to explain things to me that I wasn't even thinking of, all the while being calm, loving, and supportive."
"My mom passed away 6 years ago, and I was holding her hand at the bedside, just as I did with my dad a few months ago. But the two experiences were so very different. Deb is a big reason why they were so different. My dad's passing, with the heavy decisions on my shoulders and the knowledge that I was losing my last parent, was actually a far easier experience than my mom's. I truly have Deb to thank for that! She made a horrible time in my life less painful, with her huge heart, her loving ways, her knowledge of hospital procedures and methods, and simply her presence and personality."