As summer comes to a close and you begin to reflect on all the warm days you spent with friends, family and loved ones, we encourage you to take another moment to reflect on what matters most to you. During the month of August, the TCP team produced, shared and contributed to resources/materials that we believe will help you think more critically about why having the conversation is so important. Check out the compilation below. We encourage you to share your favorite resource(s) widely!
Need motivation and a reason to consider integrating values-based, end-of-life conversations into your organizational workflow? Or perhaps you are ready, and just need some simple steps to help you get started? Check out the resources in this piece, which we hope will ignite your thinking, tug at your heart, and spring you into action.
- Caring Well for One Another Through the End of Life by Thrive Global
In this piece, Ira Byock, MD encourages readers to not wait for a medical crisis to arise to discuss end-of-life care. Rather, he implores people to plan ahead and he offers practical steps to do so. Individuals can access resources such as their medical team or materials such as TCP’s Kits to help them prepare for a time when they want to ensure that their end-of-life wishes are known and respected.
- While the videos below may not be brand new to TCP, we’ve recently added them to our website so that you can access them more easily.
- A Soul Doctor and a Jazz Singer: At the end of Dolly Baker’s life, one doctor asked a question that made all the difference to her, to her care providers and her family. He asked simply: “what would make today a good day for you?” He got to the heart of his patient, and with deep respect asked what mattered to her, not “what was the matter with her…” Watch this video where 92 year-old Baker, a former professional jazz singer, does what matters most her: singing “What a Wonderful World”.
- Lessons on Engaging Youth and Faith Settings as Conversation Catalysts: St. Charles Health System, a rural health system with four sites in Central Oregon, is a Pioneer Sponsor with The Conversation Project’s Conversation Ready initiative. Their interdisciplinary palliative care team has been heavily involved in efforts to spread the work about the importance of having “the conversation” to people of all ages and all faiths.
- During our August community call, our advisor to faith communities, Rev. Rosemary Lloyd, discussed Conversation Sabbath – the annual, national invitation to clergy to preach or teach on the vital importance of having The Conversation. Hear from Larimer Advance Care Planning as they describe how they are planning for this event and learn from their experience and lessons to date. Visit our Faith Resources page to learn more about Conversation Sabbath and how you can get involved. Click here to listen to the recording and access the slides from the call.
- What’s coming next?
- Join us on September 18th at 3 PM ET where we’ll host a virtual speaker training. This call will provide TCP community leaders with the knowledge and resources needed to host an event, give an informative presentation, and facilitate group discussion. You’ll be given an example of a standard presentation, tips on all phases of event-planning including setting an aim, organization, facilitation, establishing measures, and evaluating your event.
- On October 16th at 3 PM ET we will host a call that will highlight various models for starting and sustaining programs to spread the importance of conversations across a community. We’ll hear from seasoned community members and together explore various components to keep the momentum going, including funding. Join us and share what you’ve learned or ideas you have to keep the momentum going in your community.
- Are you grappling with how best to support those who may not have family or a support system around them? Or are you reaching “elder orphans” and have some ideas to share on how best to ensure this population is supported, listened to and given opportunities to talk about what matters most to them? Then this call is for you! Join us on November 20th at 3 PM ET to discuss ways to ensure this critical segment of the population is not left behind. We’ll be joined by Carol Marak, a solo ager who created an expansive support network for others and has learned some fabulous lessons along the way.
- The Conversation Project has three newsletters designed to update you on our latest resources, news and events. Missed last month’s newsletters? Click the links below to access them and click here to be added to our newsletter listserv.
Additional resources can be found on our Get Involved page.