Have you ever considered a dinner conversation about end of life but haven’t been able to have it? Did you ever consider that this conversation could actually be fun and interesting? Then consider joining Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss and Atlantic Health System, for our second Conversation Café.
“Talking about illness and death and dying can reduce fear and stress, open communication and prepare families for end of life decision making. It can actually improve the quality of life,” said Mary Robinson, Executive Director and Founder of Imagine. “When people clearly articulate their end-of-life wishes to loved ones, everyone involved can be spared anguish and sometimes physical suffering.” Additionally, family members have reported that they suffer less when they have heard the wishes of a loved one.
According to a national survey done by The Conversation Project (2013) 70% of people want to die at home, but less than 30% of people tell their family these wishes. Overwhelmingly, people want to talk to family about end-of-life wishes, but most do not. So, 70% of people end up dying in a hospital or care facility with invasive treatments because without knowing their wishes, family members and doctors often do everything possible to keep them alive. These conversations can be so difficult, especially if in the midst of a medical crisis, so they often just don’t happen.
So, how do you have the conversation? Imagine and AHS are hosting an engaging evening of dinner and a creative opportunity to engage with people about your own wishes. Diners will have the opportunity to enjoy a meal and have a great conversation with people at your table (you can either come as a group or sit with strangers) that will help you start thinking about your own wishes and help you communicate them to the people in your life.
This is our second Conversation Café this year. The first one was sold out! Shari Holtzman, a guest at the first dinner, commented that “what seemed like just a night of playing games and having laughs turned in to a conversation starter days, weeks and even months after the event. It was very worthwhile!” It will take place on October 16th from 7-9 PM at Batavia Café in Summit. To register, go to http://imaginenj.org/events. Thank you to Atlantic Health System and The NJ Sharing Network for their sponsorship of this event.