Thinking about End of Life planning is difficult, because this is uncharted territory. However, the more you can learn and engage in EOL conversations, the better prepared you, and your loved ones will be. This preparation allows you to be more emotionally present, when in a life or death moment.
Take the time to look at this article, and begin acquainting yourself with these four question ~
1. Who Do You Want to Designate to Make Medical Decisions on Your Behalf When You Are Unable to Make Them?
2. What Kind of Medical Treatment Do You, or Don't You, Want to Have?
3. As You Reach the End of Your Life, Do You Want to Die at Home or Is Hospice Care, Including Palliative Care, an Option for You?
4. Are You Willing or Unwilling to Donate Your Organs or Tissues to Other People Whose Quality of Life Will Be Improved by Their Use?
Of course, these are just a few of End of Life questions, but it's a great beginning.
I met the creators of The Death Deck several years ago, and have truly enjoyed getting to know them. These ladies have created a much needed product that helps to gets people to talk about death and dying.
This deck of cards has all kinds of End of Life subject matters, and it is a comfortable way to get families and friends to start having these kind of important conversations.
Below is, A Necessary Conversation, with the creators of The Death Deck, Lori LoCicero and Lisa Pahl.
o How would you describe The Death Deck?
The Death Deck is a game that can be used as either an icebreaker or a tool to get people talking about the topic of death and dying. The mix of both lighthearted and serious questions work in a variety of settings to spark thought-provoking conversation about what many consider to be a difficult or scary subject.
o What was, or is, the inspiration for creating The Death Deck?
Lisa was the hospice social worker for Lori’s late husband Joe. While Lori and Joe were more prepared on paper than most people in their 40’s, there were very few conversations about their end of life wishes. Because of this, Lori felt unprepared for what Joe would want in his final days and following his death. The Death Deck is the game that Lori wishes she could have played with Joe.
o What benefit(s) does The Death Deck card game offer?
The Death Deck is a great way to ease people into conversations about death and dying. We use multiple choice questions and a bit of humor to make diving into the topic easier. Because we offer a wide range of questions, the deck can be used for game nights, advance care planning conferences, death doula community engagements, and just about every setting.
o What would you like others to know about using The Death Deck card game?
We like to encourage anyone using The Death Deck to preview the questions before hosting your game night or event. “Stack the deck” by choosing the cards that you think are best for your audience. To play virtually during these times of COVID, put the questions in the chat box or take a pic of the cards ahead of time and share your screen.
o In your experience, what keeps people from using your product, and/or, talking about death, dying and grief?
As a culture, we typically shy away from conversations about death, dying and grief. We often take these topics to be very serious and hush hush. The Death Deck aims to normalize that these conversations can be lively, enriching, and connecting. Even in the depths of hard times, there is humor and connections to be found.
If you would like more information about The Death Deck, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Discuss End-of-Life Care
Most people find it difficult to:
1) Speak about death, dying and grief
2) Understand why these conversations should be had
3) See the importance of such conversations
When we do not speak about End of Life experiences, we often deny the importance that such matters have had on our lives, even if they happened decades ago.
The conversations help us to normalize a very natural part of our lives. The more we engage, the more comfortable we become and the less we make decisions based in fear.
It is important that we have these conversations with family and loved ones so we understand how we each may want a different end of life experience. Each person is an individual, and so will be there wishes for their final journey.
A Necessary Conversation encourages everyone to begin these conversations now. The article attached gives some useful information on how to start discussing EOL care. Please check it out.