My First EOL Conversation Salon/Workshop Resonated!

Yea, my first End of Life (EOL) Conversation Salon/Workshop Worked!  Lights lit up! 

Today’s blog is an evaluation and follow up to a workshop I held at a yoga studio called, Being Well When Making Big Healthcare Life and EOL Decisions ….

 Last week I presented my preparation notes for this workshop. 

 The workshop occurred today.   The scheduled time was 1.5 hours (that was perfect); 4 yoga studio folks attended

My take aways:

  • they were knowledgeable about healthcare and EOL decision making issues
  • 2 had completed advance directives
  • other 2 had not ‘gotten to’ their advance directives
  • all 4 had stories to share and were interested in learning more

All 4 were pleased to:

  • hear others’ stories
  • hear the statistics – see below 
  • learn about the tools that are readily available – see links below
    • … especially about how to approach EOL issues for those with dementia 
  • 2 plan to engage in EOL conversations with others
  • all plan to complete or update their advance directives
  • they all liked that there were action items and tools available
  • all plan to recommend this EOL Conversation Salon to others
  • suggestions to add to title: ‘Take the mystery and anxiety out of EOL decision making; Get tools, Feel empowered’

Stats shared: (from The Conversation Project website)

  • An estimated 80% of people do not have the deaths they desired
  • 75% of people want to die at home, 25% do
  • 92% of people say that talking with their loved ones about EOL care is important
      • 32% have actually had those conversations
  • 80% of people say that if seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about EOL, treatments, etc
      • 18% report have had that conversation
  • 95% are willing or want to talk about EOL
      • 37 % have actually done so
      • 21 % fear this would upset loved ones
      • 53% say they would be relieved if a loved one started the conversation
  • 97% say it’s important to put wishes in writing
  • 62% of bankruptcies are associated with medical expenses – primarily around EOL
  • 43% of Medicare pts spend > their total assets, out of pocket, on medical expenses

Resources shared with attendees in a follow up email to each:

  1. The Conversation Project

“The Conversation Project is a public engagement initiative with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to have every person’s wishes for end-of-life care expressed and respected.   Too many people die in a manner they would not choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain.”

  1. Death over Dinner– Let’s Have Dinner and Talk about Death by Michael Hebb


TED talk

  1. Healthcare Proxy- (Medical Power of Attorney or Power of Attorney for Healthcare)

  1. Dear Medical Advocate – letter:

‘With Dementia, more is needed that a Boilerplate Advance Directive’

A letter by one who has dementia; a letter written by Katy Butler that acts as a template for letters one might write to family members or care providers and can be attached to one’s Advance Directives in anticipation of dementia.

  1. Advance Directive FormA general term for any written healthcare instruction specifying your wishes and/or naming a proxy.    “Living Will”,  Final Wishes”  Access your state’s form online.

  1. POLST form  Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment; to be applied when closer to dying

Onward we go! These conversations give us tools, control and comfort. 

image courtesy of,

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