FRONT RANGE HOSPICE IS PRESENTING “THE CONVERSATION STARTER”
By Pam Ware
Last winter I became aware of the work the Ellen Goodman, the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, is doing in getting people to understand the need to talk to their loved ones about what they hope their end of life care would look like. I heard Ms. Goodman speak this spring about how she came to understand this need while caring for her mother. She realized during this period that she and her mother had never had “The Conversation”.
The Conversation Starter is a presentation that I am willing to do just about anywhere in our service territory. It runs about an hour and is helpful, truthful, and I manage to throw in both real stories and some humor. In a world with so many possibilities it is very important that we exert some of our personal power to ensure that the end of our life happens the way we would hope. If you are a person that wants everything done, you do not mind long hospital stays or nursing home stays, you should let your loved know this. On the other hand, if you ask yourself “just because we can, should we” your family should know that.
As a healthcare professional that has been teaching on the need for Advance Directives for over a decade, I find this approach to be much more enjoyable for the audience. So far, my audiences have remained awake, alert, and very interested.
We are just starting to keep track of who attends these presentations and will be following up with the attendee’s to see if they had “The Conversation”. From the last presentation, I was told by one of the couples that attended that they went home that night used the handouts as a guide for their Conversation and have even made an appointment with a local senior retirement community so they would know what their options will be.
Nothing is more satisfying to a medical social worker then giving people the tools to determine their own destiny. If you would like to attend one of our presentations please call the office at 303-957-3101 and ask for Michaela Wells and she will make sure you are informed of future events. It really is an hour well spent.