WIHI: End-of-Life Care and How Communities Can Become "Conversation Ready"

Date: January 15, 2015

  • Jean Abbott, MD, MH, The Conversation Project, Boulder County; Faculty, Center for Bioethics and Humanity and Professor Emerita, Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado
  • Diana Silvey, MA, Program Director, Winter Park Health Foundation
  • Kimberlie Flowers, MSW, LICSW, Senior Outreach Social Worker, Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley (Northeastern Massachusetts)
  • Kate DeBartolo, National Field Manager, The Conversation Project, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
It doesn't necessarily “take a village” to have a conversation with loved ones about wishes for end-of-life care. But it can help to have others in the community to turn to for ideas, resources, and support – especially if the “kitchen table” conversation with important people in one’s life isn’t happening so readily. Sometimes it’s easier to start this conversation with peers who get together once a week at the community center. Or with a rabbi or minister. Or, initially, with perfect strangers who’ve started to meet at the local library to talk about death and dying.
With an aging population, and too many people not dying as they’d choose, community groups all across the US are creating more ways and places for people of all ages, and states of health, to articulate their end-of-life care preferences, and to make sure their preferences are known and respected by loved ones and local health care alike. That's what we took a look at on this WIHI.



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