Many of you who follow The Conversation Project tell us how much you want it to be the norm to have more conversations about what matters to us. The good news is, you don’t have to wait for a celebrity endorsement to say that it’s time to share the way we want to live through the end of our lives. And you don’t need a big ad campaign to say that it’s important to communicate about the kind of care we want and don’t want for ourselves.
In fact, we know that people are more likely to be influenced by people close to them. So, who better to talk about the value in having these conversations…than you?
By encouraging people around you to talk about their wishes for care — and showing others that you have talked about your own wishes — you can be a conversation influencer. You can inspire others to talk with the people who matter before it’s too late. April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). NHDD exists to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. Think about your community and connections and how you can spread the work leading up to NHDD.
Here are a few ways to be a conversation influencer:
Gather your community. Whether online or in person, bring people together to talk about What Matters. Be the spark that starts conversations among friends and family, neighbors and acquaintances, or members of your faith community, library, workplace, sports group, or book club.
- Hold a book club through your neighborhood or library about one of the must-read books about death and care through the end of life.
- Set the table for a dinner party where the topic of planning for the future is the main course.
- Get together with friends or family for one of these 6 fun games to help you talk about care through the end of life.
- Host a local Conversation Sabbath in your faith community to share teachings on this critical topic and support members in having the conversation in familiar settings.
- Print copies or share links to our free Conversation Guides to share with support groups for caregivers.
Share stories and resources. Post about NHDD and the importance of talking about What Matters on your social media pages. Remember to tag The Conversation Project on social media and use the hashtag #NHDD.
- Record a brief message about why having conversations about What Matters has been helpful for you.
- Take a selfie with your Conversation Starter Guide or while you’re working on your advance care planning documents.
- Finish this sentence: “What Matters most to me through the end of life is…” Invite others to post their own answers.
- Share a poem, short story, or piece of art that you created in response to the loss of someone in your life.
- Write about your favorite memory with someone for whom you were able to help speak on their behalf.
How will you be a conversation influencer this year? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook @TheConversationProject, Twitter @convoproject, and Instagram @convoproject and connect with NHDD on Facebook @NationalHealthcareDecisionsDay and on Twitter @NHDD.