While this reluctance is understandable, it creates an unintended and unnecessary outcome. Too many Americans die in ways they would have chosen because they are not making their preferences known to their loved ones while they are able. All too often, bewildered and confused family members and friends are forced to make these stressful decisions for them under duress. For this reason, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ellen Goodman and her colleagues have started an initiative known as “The Conversation Project”.
One of the most important conversations we need to have is about death. Unsurprisingly, people would rather talk about something, almost anything, else than the reality of dying. People would even rather tell gossip-laden stories of heartbreak and dysfunction than the final destination for anyone who has ever lived. Still, too many people who are dying in ways they would not have chosen are not making their preferences for their own deaths known while they can. All too often, these loved ones become patients who cannot make their views known after it’s too late. It’s for this reason that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ellen Goodman and others around her started an initiative known as the Conversation Project.
The basic idea of The Conversation Project is simple: Conversations regard one’s death should happen at the kitchen table and not in the ICU. Having these important discussions at the right place and at the right time, provides people the opportunity to thoughtfully decide the kinds of care they do want, as well as do not want, to receive at life’s end. This gives both individuals and their loved ones help and peace of mind regarding the inevitable ending of life.
The Conversation Project Materials
The main component of the Conversation Project is a questionnaire that can be downloaded from their website. The 12-page kit is available in many different languages to make navigating the questions as simple as possible. The kit is written to the loved one who initiates the end-of-life conversation. The materials not only cover what actions are to be taken but also about emotions going forward. The truest intention is to get all parties on the same page.
For additional help navigating the sometimes confusing questions associated with end-of-life care, the nurturing professionals at Cura HPC Hospice & Palliative Care are more than happy to assist.