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Workshop: Implementing difficult conversations

Erica Pitman
Background & Aims:
It is estimated that only 14% of Australians have an advance health care directive, 45% of people die without a will, and around 50% of Australians will not be able to make or express their own decisions when they are near death. Your Life Assist has developed two sets of conversations cards, “Your Life Story” and “Your Life Wishes”, designed specifically to help us all start having difficult conversations about end of life matters. Finding a suitable way to start talking with others about their end of life wishes is usually a challenge for most people. These conversation cards provide an engaging way to kick-start conversations.

Interactivity:
This will be an opportunity to experience the use of the conversation cards in an interactive, compassionate, and sometimes challenging way, along with some fun to lighten the atmosphere. Interaction will be one on one, in small groups, and within the larger group. Exploring your own values and beliefs about your end of life wishes and thinking about your life story will assist you with helping others to do the same.

Learning Outcomes:
As a result of attending this workshop you will have new or additional tools to:
• explore your own end of life wishes,
• explore end of life wishes with others,
• think about your own life story and how you would like to express this,
• assist others with expressing their life story,
• a greater level of comfort to implement difficult conversations about death and dying.

Conclusion:
End of life is everyone’s business so becoming comfortable with having difficult conversations about death and dying, is something we can all benefit from, whether this is with your own family, your neighbour, a work colleague, friend, client or patient.

Death will come to us all … talking about the inevitable allows us to live fully NOW.