End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 74 Building Community Around Death: Lessons from a Death-Positive Event

Would you like to bring your community together to talk about death? Here’s how …

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In this episode we will deconstruct a large-scale death-positive community event and share with you the lessons learned from that experience with guest Holly Pruett, founder of Death OK: Let’s Talk About It. The goal of this discussion is to inspire others to create events in their own communities. Below you’ll find some previous podcasts with helpful resources.

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This podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series are supported by the generous contributions of listeners through the EOLU donation page at Patreon.com/eolu. To thank you for your donation I will mention your name on a future podcast episode and promote your EOL-related website, business, organization, book or cause! Go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more and contribute $1 or $2 per month!

In the news:

  1. The staff in the ICU at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario have been connectingword-cloud-679915_640 with patients and their loved ones by creating “word clouds” for each patient, using the patient’s name plus adjectives and phrases suggested by loved ones and staff members (see the example of a word cloud in this photo.) Healthcare staff say the word clouds help remind them of the humanity of each patient, allow them to get to know the patient better, and stimulate story-telling about the patient. Families often take the word clouds home with them to help with their grieving process. (Make you own word clouds at www.wordle.com)
  2. A mobile palliative care team has been providing care to terminally ill homeless people on the streets of Seattle. The team receives referrals from shelters and drop-in clinics then tracks down the patients, evaluates them, and gets them connected to appropriate care. The program is similar to the PEACH (Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless) Program in Toronto. Results of the pilot project show that hospitals stays for the homeless patients have been reduced by 25% and ER visits by 50%.

Interview with Holly Pruett:

holly-pruett3Holly Pruett is a Life-Cycle Celebrant, Home Funeral Guide, and the founder of Death OK: Let’s Talk About It, a ten-hour day of inspiration, information and connection in Portland, Oregon. She is also the founder of DeathTalkProject.com and the co-founder of PDX Death Cafe.

In this interview she breaks down Death OK and shares the process used to create this community-wide event along with the lessons learned.

This highlights include:

  • Why a small team of organizers is best
  • The benefits of a private, intimate venue for such an event
  • The importance of sustaining volunteer commitment
  • How to structure the financing for a large event
  • The benefits of choosing an engaging and provocative keynote speaker

We hope you’ll be inspired to create your own community event! Find more information at www.DeathOK.com.

Be sure to sign up for End-of-Life University mailing list so you’ll receive notifications about the latest EOLU interviews other upcoming events!

Until next week:

Face Your Fears.               BE Ready.               Love Your Life.

Karen

EOLPodcast

Ep. 71 The Death-Positive Movement: Trends and Goals for 2017

It’s a brand new year! Let’s look ahead and see what’s possible in 2017!

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In today’s episode of the podcast we’ll look ahead at the coming year, study the trends in the death-positive movement and discover where it might be possible to create new volunteer and career opportunities for ourselves and our communities in 2017.

First I’ll share my own goals for the coming year, which include revising, editing and publishing the two books I wrote in 2016. I also plan to release two new training courses this spring and have lined up a fascinating group of speakers for the End-of-Life University Interview Series. To stay up-to-date on all the latest interviews and offering from EOLU, be sure to to sign up for the mailing list here.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the contributors to this podcast on supportonpatreon-e1412764908776Patreon.com/eolu. Your support helps pay for the expenses of creating this podcast and the EOLU Interview Series. If you’d like to become a patron just go to Patreon.com/eolu and sign up to contribute just $1 or $2 per month.

Here are some of the Trends I’ll be watching in 2017:

  1. Increasing number of Palliative Care Programs in hospitals across the country. Though many of the current programs are either understaffed or underfunded, these problems are likely to be corrected in the near future. To meet current standards, each palliative care team must have a chaplain and a social worker so if you have training in either of those fields you might find employment opportunities in a palliative care program in your community.
  2. Need for creative solutions for hospice care. Because for-profit hospices are taking over many of the smaller non-profit hospices there is a risk that uninsured patients or those with needs for expensive care might be turned away. There is a need for social-model hospices (see Episode 23) and possibly for community-based non-profit, non-Medicare-certified organizations that can help bridge gaps in services for hospice patients. Here are some recommended training programs for becoming an end-of-life doula or midwife:
    1. Sebastopol CA: Jerrigrace Lyons http://finalpassages.org
    2. Austin Texas: Donna Belk (Online training program): http://beyondhospice.com
    3. Austin Texas: Deanna Cochran http://www.qualityoflifecare.com
    4. Ann Arbor Michigan: Merrilyn Rush and Patty Brennan http://center4cby.com This training starts right away – Feb. 3-5, 2017
    5. Calgary Canada: Sarah Kerr http://soulpassages.ca/about/
    6. New York and online: Suzanne B. O’Brien RN: http://www.doulagivers.com
  3. Need for more caregivers. As baby boomers age and approach the end-of-life the caregiver shortage will become a much greater issue. Opportunities will exist to create caregiver training and support services in communities and even to start businesses that employ caregivers.
  4. Community outreach can help support the changes that are slowly occurring in the healthcare system. One of the best ways to encourage change in healthcare is to empower consumers to demand changes from their physicians. This will require outreach and education in the community. Here are some ideas for outreach and links to learn more from previous podcasts:
    1. Plan a community end-of-life event.
    2. Start a Death Cafe.
    3. Plan an EOL Film Festival.
    4. Start an EOL Book Club. Get a list of potential books here.
  5. Create an “Inreach” for members of the EOL community by starting a discussion group, networking event or collaboration opportunity for those who are already working in this arena.
  6. Bring volunteer movements to your community. Consider starting a group of volunteer caregivers who can provide respite care for family caregivers or start your own chapter of Threshold Choir, Twilight Brigade, or No One Dies Alone.
  7. Provide education for your community either as a voluntary act of service or as a paid instructor. Here are some possible ideas:
    1. Assist people to correctly complete their advance directives.
    2. Teach a community class on death and dying.
    3. Train caregivers.
    4. Teach about green burial, promote a natural burial ground in your community, help people access green burial supplies
    5. Educate the community about their rights to a home funeral

I hope these ideas inspire your own personal goals for 2017! Stay connected with me and keep tuning in to the podcast. Let me know your own inspirations and plans for the New Year by adding your comments.

Until next week ….

Face Your Fears.              BE Ready.             Love Your Life.

Aging, End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 57 September End-of-Month Update and film Extremis

 

In today’s episode Dr. Wyatt thanks 3 new supporters on Patreon.com/eolu:

  • Joan Roellchen-Pfohl, RN
  • Martha Johnson – author of the upcoming book “Take Charge of the Rest of Your Life”; learn more at www.meetmarthajohnson.com
  • Marggie Hatala – author and teacher of a writing class related to end of life; her books are “Sally: A Memoir” and the forthcoming “Life as Prayer”; learn more at www.marggiehatala.com

Next she begins the Update for September by talking about the new documentary film currently streaming on Neflix: Extremis, which won 1st place at the Tribeca Film Festival. Please see this film which takes place in the ICU at Highland Hospital in Oakland and features Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter. This is a must-see film that brilliantly depicts the conundrum that exists at the end of life when painful decisions must be made. By showing the real-life conversations that take place in the ICU between staff, family members and patients, a case is made for everyone to complete their advance directives and prepare their loved ones to honor their wishes at the end of life. But the painful process of decision-making becomes apparent as each individual struggles with the unknown and the unknowable in these dire situations.

The other topics covered this month include:

  • BMJ Online report that patients who receive hospice care for the last 6 months of life have better pain control, fewer hospital days, and are less likely to die in the hospital or ICU.
  • Researchers at John Hopkins found that their palliative care program led to  savings of ~ $19 million over 5 years in addition to improved quality of care and patient satisfaction.
  • Study originally published in Health Affairs and reported on Reuters online showed gaps in palliative care in the US. Read the article.
  • “What it feels like to die,” an article in The Atlantic discusses the active dying process from the patient’s perspective. Read the article.
  • Friends and Family Letter Project by Dr. VJ Periyakoil at Stanford includes 7 prompts for letter writers to leave messages for their loved ones. Read the article.
  • “7 Songs for a Long Life” documentary from Scotland that depicts how terminally ill patients use singing as therapy. Read the article.
  • The Friendly Atheist Julie Stahl reminds us not to impose our own religious or spiritual beliefs on those who are grieving and may not share your perspective. Read her blog.

Thanks for tuning in to the podcast! I hope you enjoy this information. If you feel inspired to offer a little support go to Patreon.com/eolu to join the community!

Until next week remember:

Face Your Fears.               BE Ready.               Love Your Life!!!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Hospice

Ep. 54 Film: Love in Our Own Time with Tom Murray

Join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her guest Tom Murray, director of the beautiful feature-length documentary Love in Our Own TimeThey will discuss the making of this film, which follows the lives of ordinary Australians as they face the big transitions of life: birth and death. “Love in Our Own Time is a film that speaks directly to its audience about the nature of life and death. It is a journey to the heart of what it is to be human that gives us all pause to question the lives we lead.” (from the film’s synopsis) Tom Murray reveals his own inspirations for creating the film and the transformation he experienced during the process.

In this interview you will learn:

  • How Tom Murray was inspired to create this film after living and working amongst the Yolngu Aboriginal people
  • How this film is being used in medical education settings to increase awareness about the end-of-life
  • How you might arrange a screening of Love in Our Own Time for your own community

Subscribe to End-of-Life University at http://www.eoluniversity.com so you can receive notification of all the fantastic new interviews on end-of-life issues.

Become a supporter of this podcast by making a donation of $1 or $2 per month at http://www.patron.com/eolu! Thanks!

Check out Dr. Wyatt’s books on Amazon:

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 52 How to Start an End-of-Life Film Series in Your Community

Read the companion blog for this podcast here!

Today Dr. Wyatt shares some tips on starting a film series in your community to encourage conversations about death and dying. Movies are a great way to touch and inspire people and open their hearts and minds to new information. You can get your own film series by following the steps below:

  • Define your target audience – know who you want to serve with this information and how many people you anticipate might attend
  • Find partners – look for organizations in your community that can serve as donors or sponsors
  • Locate a venue – try to find a free space by asking one of your partners to donate the use of their facility
  • Decide what to charge – create a budget and find out if you will need to sell tickets for the event or can ask for donations instead
  • Create an event schedule – decide how long your event should be and whether or not you can include time for a discussion group, panel, or guest lecturer after the film; also choose the day and time for your event so you can book the venue in advance if this is an ongoing monthly series
  • Choose your films – consider both feature films and documentaries as you plan your schedule. Go to eoluniversity.com/films to view a list of suggested films for your series
  • Promote your event – ask your community partners to help you get the word out

Let me know if you decide to do a film series! I would love to hear it turns out!

Remember to go to Patreon.com/eolu if you are interested in supporting this podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series with a small donation.

Tune in each Monday for a new episode and remember:

Face Your Fear.           BE Ready.             Love Your Life.

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 33 How to Start an End-of-Life Book Club with Karen Wyatt MD

Dr. Karen Wyatt talks about the value of creating a book club in your community that focuses on end-of-life issues for a full year. You will learn:

  • why an end-of-life book club is a good idea
  • tips for starting a book club from scratch
  • year-long template for subjects to discuss during your book club
  • recommended books for your group to read

Visit the website to view the template and book recommendations at http://www.eoluniversity.com/books

You can help support this podcast by donating on our Patreon page at http://patreon.com/eolu

Sign up to receive email notifications from End-of-Life University here or by texting EOLU to 38470.

Join us each Monday for a new episode of the EOLU Podcast!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 32 How to Plan an End-of-Life Event for Your Community

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
  • Tips for hosting your own event

Website: www.theartofdeathbellingham.wordpress.com

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 29 How to Start a Death Cafe with Betsy Trapasso

Learn all about the rapidly growing, grassroots movement of the Death Cafe from Betsy Trapasso who has been hosting cafes in Los Angeles for the past 3 years. Betsy will share stories from her own experiences with Death Cafe Los Angeles and fill us in on:

  • How and why she started Death Cafe LA
  • The benefits of hosting a Death Cafe
  • How to plan and promote a Death Cafe in your own community

Whether you are interested in starting or attending a Death Cafe or if you just work in the end-of-life arena, you will want to listen in to this informative interview!

Websites: http://www.betsytrapasso.com