END-OF-LIFE CARE CONVERSATIONS
Ninety percent of Americans say that talking about their end-of-life care wishes is important, but only 30 percent are actually having these conversations.
WV Caring has partnered with The Conversation Project, a national public engagement campaign, for National Healthcare Decisions Day, recognized April 16, to educate people on the value of making decisions about their own wishes for end-of-life care and expressing them to their loved ones.
Together the organizations are combining efforts to create positive change in the way our society deals with and prepares for their final days.
Read on to learn more.
WHAT IS NATIONAL HEALTHCARE DECISIONS DAY?
National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, is a national day of awareness designed to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advanced care planning.
On this day, a grassroots and digital campaign will be launched to stimulate family conversations and offer local and national resources about end-of-life care options.
“After serving patients and families struggling with advanced illness for more than 40 years, the comment we hear most frequently is, ‘I wish I had known about you (hospice care) sooner’,” said Malene Davis, President and CEO of WV Caring. “By partnering with an organization dedicated to having the conversation before it’s too late, it helps us educate the countless members of our community who need our help and don’t know where to turn.”
“Our goal is to close the gap. People fear that speaking to their loved ones about their final days would be too grim,” said Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Conversation Project. “In reality, these are among the most intimate and meaningful conversations people can have.”
WHAT IS THE CONVERSATION PROJECT?
The Conversation Project, co-founded in 2012 by Goodman, launched in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and has been inspiring end-of-life conversations within American homes, and it is garnering support on national, state and local levels.
The Conversation Project aims to spark cultural change by encouraging discussions to take place with love, ease and reflection, before there is a healthcare crisis.
The Conversation Project’s website is the heart and home of the campaign’s work, which includes the Conversation Project Starter Kit, a free downloadable, which is a step-by-step guide developed to help individuals and families start the conversation about end-of-life care.
The Conversation Project does not promote any specific preference for end-of-life care or any legislative measure; instead, it inspires people to think about and express their end-of-life wishes.
Organizations that have chosen to work in partnership with The Conversation Project are committed to changing our nation’s culture from not talking about end-of-life care to talking about it. Through corporations, community, and religious organizations, The Conversation Project is reaching people where they work, live and pray.
WV CARING | HOSPICE CARE | WEST VIRGINIA
Since 1983, West Virginia Caring, a 501 (c) (3), non-profit hospice provider, has been dedicated to improving care for those facing life-limiting illness through direct support of patients and their families while providing advocacy, outreach, education and expertise in grief support to the entire community. WV Caring serves twelve counties in North Central West Virginia. WV Caring is one of a few not-for-profit, stand-alone hospices serving North Central West Virginia.