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Discover Lafayette: Camille Pavy Claibourne

Jul 20, 2018 01:33PM ● By Jan Swift

Camille Pavy Claibourne has a beautiful voice and uses it to tell the story of others. Delving into the issues surrounding care of our elders as well as death and final decision-making, Camille Claibourne brings more than forty years of nursing experience to the table as she shares lessons learned from the dying, their families, and their caretakers.

Early in Camille's career as a critical care nurse, a young man's tragic death touched her heart as she witnessed his heart stop functioning.  As she moved on to care for the next patient and the next, Camille gradually realized that she had a deep interest in learning more about the process of dying and the many ways to navigate the topic that no one seems to want to talk about. She also shared in this audio podcast interview of Discover Lafayette that she loves being with the elderly, is joyful in the process of loving and caring for them and learns from them as they communicate without filters that restrict most of our conversations!

Her brave patients inspired her to pursue a doctoral degree in thanatology, the subject of death and dying. Her research led her to the work of Ira Byock, M. D., who coined the term "Dying Well" which refers to dying as a life phase of growth and development. Interviewing hospice patients led to the publication of her first book, Dying in God's Hands by Acadian Publishing in October 2009, where she shared that a majority of her patients believed in life after death, that "life does not end with bodily death but goes on eternally."

Claibourne's second book, Purses and Shoes for Sale, the Joys and Challenges for Caring for Elderly Parents, was published in March 2016, and was inspired by the challenges of being a caregiver for her parents in their older years.  The humorous title is directly attributable to words of wisdom from her mother, Anna Mae, as she opined that her obituary should just state that upon her death there would be "purses and shoes for sale." When you stop and think about it, you should really stop and think about this observation: when we go, we go....without all the stuff we've accumulated! The book contains a treasure trove of resources on topics such as the Patients' Bill of Rights, how to prevent falls, how to clear out a house, and useful website. Anyone faced with the responsibility of caring for a loved one in declining health will benefit from having Camille's experience as set forth in this inspirational and easy-to-read guide.

Both books mentioned herein may also be purchased on Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble, as well as through Acadian House Publishing.

Camille Pavy Claibourne gives back to our community, serving as a board member of Hospice of Acadiana. A Master Craftsman affiliated with the Louisiana Crafts Guild, her hobby as an accomplished potter has evolved into a small business you should check out. She is also President & CEO of Cabill, Inc., an executive coaching company. She is certified in Emergenetics, a tool which allows people to learn about their personality type and how to work better with others. For more information, she may be reached by calling 337-856-769 or emailing [email protected]

Hospice of Acadiana, established in 1983, is Louisiana’s oldest hospice and palliative care provider, and the only non-profit provider in Acadiana.  As a non-profit provider, patients receive all of the care they need, regardless of the cost or their ability to pay. HOA also offers several programs and services to the community at-large free of charge, including:  Grief Counseling, Loss and Transition Workshops, Camp Brave Hearts, Pet Peace of Mind, and the We Honor Veterans Program.  For more information, call (337) 232-1234 or visit www.hospiceacadiana.com  You can also email [email protected]

Please forward this interview to anyone going through challenging end-of-life experiences, whether it is their parents, their own, or a close friend or family member. Knowledge is power and Camille Pavy Claibourne has dedicated her life to helping us life and cherish our own lives and lives of those we love.

Jan Swift is host of Discover Lafayette, an audio podcast focused on the people and rich culture of Lafayette, the Gateway to South Louisiana. www.discoverlafayette.net.

An attorney experienced in government and commercial law, she is affiliated with Swift & Rhoades, LLP.  Jan most recently served as Executive Director of Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation.