Begin with the End in Mind: A three-part workshop series to facilitate end-of-life discussions with members of the community

Julie L. Masters, Paige M. Toller, Nancy J. Kelley, Lyn M. Holley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Death is among the most avoided topics of conversation. Although end-of-life planning may greatly benefit individuals and their survivors, research and practice indicate that family, friends, and even health care providers resist discussing end-of-life plans. Consequences of not planning ahead have created a public health issue. This article describes a community-level intervention that facilitates those necessary conversations among elders who have at least begun to talk with others about their wishes. A free, three-part educational workshop series on end-of-life planning titled “Begin with the End in Mind” was developed at a midwestern university. A survey was distributed to all attendees to learn about their beliefs regarding end-of-life planning. Inductive content analysis was used to understand participants’ thoughts about discussing end-of-life planning. Findings from 33 participants suggest a concern about making plans and ensuring others would follow their wishes. In conclusion, this article offers a roadmap for gerontologists and others to use in engaging the community to think about and act on end-of-life public health issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalGerontology and Geriatrics Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 7 2018

Keywords

  • Advance directives
  • death awareness
  • death education
  • end-of-life education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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