EOL Education: The Elephant in the Room
New Haven & Woodbridge, Connecticut: 2 FREE EVENTS April 17 and 18.
People plan to graduate, get jobs, get married, have children, educate their children in the best schools, with the best teachers, and retire. Maybe most of us sign up for Life Insurance Policies, and some of us take out Long-Term Care Policies. But when it comes to thinking about the end of life – about what we would like if and when we can't talk for ourselves, about what we truly love, value, and care about, few of us are prepared to face it. We don’t want to think about it so we don’t think seriously or often about it. We certainly don’t plan for it as we did for everything else. And that's when it gets dark. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
A new profession is emerging – that of the Certified End-Of-Life Doula (Greek for "woman who serves"). Doulas are women (and men) specifically trained to educate us and guide us in planning and truly caring for our aging population. Doulas serve as catalysts and patient advocates; demystifying the complicated and helping us navigate our complex healthcare and elder-care systems.
Here are some facts from The Conversation Project National Survey 2013: 90% of us say that talking about end-of life (EOL) care choices is important, but only 27% of us have seriously done it. 60% say that we don't want our families to be burdened with tough decisions, but 56% of us haven’t shared our own end-of-life (EOL) wishes with them. 82% of us say it's important to put our EOL wishes in writing, but only 23% of us have done so. 80% of us say that if we were seriously ill we would want to talk to our doctors about EOL care, but only 7% have actually done it. And yet, for each of us, the end of life holds steady at exactly 100%.
American society strongly values individual autonomy – and that’s mostly a good thing. But it has a nasty dark side in that too many of us age and die in conditions of isolation. In effect, we die alone in more ways than one. It’s time to stop that.
So let us start those conversations, without fears or taboos and with love for ourselves and our families to make the inevitable End of Life simpler and more meaningful for us all!
HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US TO BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND WHY EOL PLANNING MATTERS SO MUCH TO ALL OF US, MEN, WOMEN, LGBTQ, ALL ETHNICITIES.
MONDAY APRIL 17 6-7:30PM @ WOODBRIDGE TOWN LIBRARY, 10 Newton rd
TUESDAY APRIL 18 4-6PM @ NEW HAVEN PUBLIC LIBRARY, fair haven, 182 Grand Ave