Former Journalist Gives Voice to End-of-life Discussion

Posted on 05/15/2013

The Medicare News Group: After Nadine Epstein’s mother passed away, a process fraught with family disagreements about her mother’s end-of-life care and burial, Epstein stumbled upon The Conversation Project, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping people express their wishes regarding death.

“With my mother, we all muddled through it rather painfully,” Epstein said. “It was very unclear what (my mother’s) wishes were. I happened to run across The Conversation Project right after this, and realized it would be incredible to have this conversation with my dad.”

The Conversation Project, based in Cambridge, Mass., hopes that its efforts will foster a culture that encourages and accepts as the norm family conversations about death and dying. While 70 percent of people say that they want to die at home, that same number actually ends up dying in hospitals, nursing homes or long-term care facilities, in part because their wishes were not articulated to their family members, according to Ellen Goodman, co-founder and director of The Conversation Project.


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