Today Dr. Karen Wyatt discusses some ideas for building a support community for end-of-life workers and people interested in death and dying. Working in this field can be rather lonely at times as our society still fears and avoids the subject of death. But we need a network of support around us in order to do this challenging work. So here are some ideas for creating our own community of support:
Attend a Death Cafe. Learn more and out if there is a Death Cafe in your area by searching the Death Cafe website: www.DeathCafe.com
If there is no face-to-face Death Cafe in your area consider calling in by telephone to the Virtual Death Cafe, which generally meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month. Learn more at www.eoluniversity.com/death-cafe
Start your own Death Cafe. If you feel inclined to become a Death Cafe host (no specific training is required) you might want to start your own and truly benefit your community. Get completes Guidelines for starting a Death Cafe at www.DeathCafe.com/how
Use Social Media sites to get connected with others:
On Facebook search for these pages or public groups (then “Like” the page or ask to become a member of the group): Slow Medicine, Afterlife Awareness, Death Cafe, Death Midwifery in Canada, End-of-Life University, Death Expo
Linked-In: search for groups based on interests such as Hospice, Palliative Care, Chaplain Services, Grief, End-of-Life
Twitter: follow hashtags like #EOL #hpm #eolchat #dwd #eolcare #funeralplanning #deathcafe #hospice (depending on your interests)
Start a death and dying Meetup Group. You can create your own curriculum for a meetup (unlike Death Cafe that has no agenda) and include films, speakers, panel discussions, field trips. Go to www.Meetup.com to see if there is already a meetup in your area or to start one of your own.
Join an organization. I highly recommend that you look into joining the National Home Funeral Alliance, which offers free registration, monthly conference calls and an annual face-to-face conference. You don’t have to be a home funeral guide to join and you will find many, many like-minded people there! Learn more about the NHFA at www.homefuneralalliance.org
This episode is dedicated to the memory of Rev. Maria Dancing Heart Hoaglund, hospice chaplain and spiritual counselor who authored the books The Last Adventure of Life: Sacred Resources for Living and Dying from a Hospice Counselor and The Most Important Day of Your Life: Are You Ready? Maria died tragically after being struck by a car while walking in a crosswalk.
Maria has been a beloved member of the end-of-life community and in this episode Dr. Wyatt shares her personal recollections of Maria, reads excerpts from Maria’s books and plays a clip from Maria’s interview for End-of-Life University in 2013. Whether or not you have met Maria in the past, you will become acquainted with her beautiful soul and enlightened spiritual wisdom through the messages in this episode.
Many blessings to all who love Maria and feel the pain of her absence in this physical plane. Maria left a beautiful legacy for each and every one of us that will continue to guide and inspire our work for the future.
Today Dr. Karen Wyatt offers the End of Month Update for April 2016. In this episode she recaps the 10-Day SMART Decisions Challenge for completing your advance directives – if you are interested in still doing the challenge on your own time you can check it out at www.eoluniversity.com/challenge. Also be sure to check out the EOLU page at Patreon.com/eolu if you’d like to make a small monthly donation to help keep EOLU on the air (much appreciated!)
Topics discussed in this presentation include:
A study showing that the population of people over age 65 will increase to 88million by the year 2050 – meaning there will be a huge need for services for the elderly. Reference to Episode #08: It Takes A Village to Care for the Elderly.
New “Affinity-Based” senior living communities are springing up around the country like Chinese-American and Indian-American communities.
The Harvard Study of Adult Development, which started in 1938, has shown that relationships are the key to a long happy life.
A British study in which the extreme elderly (over the age of 95) were interviewed about death and dying showed that they were at peace with death, ready to go and had talked with their doctors about death, but not their families.
A newly released survey of doctors found that they overwhelmingly support new CPT codes that allow for billing for end-of-life conversations and planning with patients but most of them report they are not ready to have these conversations because they have not been trained and don’t know what to say.
The Credit for Caring Act is currently being discussed in the US Congress and would provide up to $3000 per year in tax credits for family caregivers.
“Presenteeism” is a new term to describe the lack of productivity on the job experienced by family caregivers who are also employed outside the home (which amounts to 20% of Americans.)
Reports of funeral ritual behavior from the animal kingdom.
Driving Miss Norma – the story of a 90-year-old woman who said “no” to treatment after her cancer was diagnosed and is currently traveling the US in an RV with her son and daughter-in-law.
Be sure to leave comments below, subscribe to the podcast, write reviews, and recommend EOLU to your friends. Looking forward to our next opportunity to chat about the end-of-life!
Today’s focus is on advance care planning as Dr. Wyatt shares an interview with Kimberly Paul of Lower Cape Fear Hospice, who is the creator of the Begin the Conversation Workbook and Toolkit. You’ll learn about National Healthcare Decisions Day and Dr. Wyatt’s 10-Day SMART Decisions Challenge, which you can join for free at www.eoluniversity.com/challenge and get your own advance directives done with Dr. Wyatt’s guidance.
In the interview Kimberly will share:
How the BTC Toolkit can be used to introduce the concept of Advance Care Planning to people of all ages
The 7 step process recommended in the BTC Workbook
How Begin the Conversation differs from other advance care planning resources
Join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her guest Ashley Benem as they discuss Ashley’s experiences creating and hosting a large community event focused on the end-of-life. Hear how Ashley conceived of The Art of Death Exhibition and Conference in Bellingham, WA in 2014 and learn what it takes to create a similar event in your own community.
In this interview you will learn:
The basic template Ashley used for planning her event
A step-by-step approach to putting on a large community event
The benefits of engaging your entire community in an educational, inspirational event about the end-of-life
Dr. Karen Wyatt discusses what’s new and noteworthy in the end-of-life arena this month:
Medscape article reveals that 1/3 of all people in the US with advance directives actually request more medical intervention at the end-of-life, rather than choosing to limit medical intervention; question: What is “futile” care?
Helsinki, Finland project allows young people to live at low cost within senior living centers in exchange for interacting with the elderly residents
PEACH program in Toronto provides mobile palliative care to the homeless
France has a “deep sleep bill” allowing terminal sedation that has passed the lower house of parliament
National Geographic article shows interesting death customs of Torajan people of Indonesia
Demonstration project for curative care occurring simultaneously with hospice care may be doomed because criteria for participation is too narrow and numbers are too small
Video game “That Dragon, Cancer” has been released
Stanford Letter Project is an interesting resource for creating advance directives in the form of a letter to physician, family members
Parting.com has an interactive map that shows funeral costs in each state of the US; discussion about living funerals
Tribute to 13 yo Delaney Clements who died this week and left us with a beautiful , joyful video expressing her wishes for her funeral