Why we created Your Life Talks
From the very start, our aim was to provide families with an easier, more ‘non-confrontational’ way of having those sometimes ‘difficult’ conversations about their end of live wishes & plans. For example - have they made a Will, Power of Attorney or an Advance Healthcare Directive?
- If diagnosed as being terminally ill - what would be most important to them…. ‘Quality of Life’ versus ‘Quantity of Life’?
- Under what circumstances (if any), would they agree to be moved into a nursing home / palliative care unit?
- Under what circumstances (if any), would they agree to having their life support system turned off?
- What sought of funeral arrangements (if any), have they already made? With whom? Where is the resultant paper work located?
These can sometimes be ‘difficult’ conversations to have within families – so we decided to ‘lighten things up’ a little, by first having discussions about one’s life journey – Everyone has a story to tell, so hence… the Your Life Story question cards were created.
The questions on these cards are much more ‘fun’ – light hearted questions, regarding such topics as:
- Where they went to school?;
- Were they any good at sports or music?;
- Describe the neighbourhood you grew up in;
- Your favourite teacher/subject at school, etc.
The idea then, was to slowly introduce (one by one), more of the ‘difficult’ questions from the Your Life Wishes card deck into the ‘conversation’. This process has worked very well for us.
We have found that by actually having a card in their hands, it gives the card holder the (psychological) ‘permission to speak’ – ie.to both, ask the question out aloud, and to add their thoughts in response, as well. The simple subconscious ‘power’ of this cannot be overstated.....having the actual card in their hands simply 'empowers them' much more, than if the facilitator just asks the same question from a prepared list of questions.
However, from an individual’s perspective, timing can be everything when it comes to having such meaningful conversations. In many cases, it’s usually too late, for a lot of people…..to have these conversations about their ‘wishes’ for end-of-life-care….especially if they’ve already lost their mental capacity for decision making, including their ability to sign legal documents such as a Will, Power of Attorney and especially, an Advance Health Directive.
These meaningful 'conversations' should be started as early as possible….as we keep telling our groups, that we visit.
Simply telling one's 'Life Story' has many benefits, in its own right, for both the person concerned and their immediate family members - benefits include:
- Finding your voice
- Realising that sharing your story can help others
- Re-affirming your values
- Finding peace; finding hope; obtaining peace of mind
Our founder Jolene, has successfully facilitated many workshops with Aged Care & Hospice groups, Breast & Prostrate Cancer Support Groups; Stroke Support Groups; Dementia Support Groups etc; using precisely the above method.
Often, the group leaders/coordinators have confided in Jolene (after the event), that the members of the group had been very hesitant, to bring up and discuss, sensitive issues regarding such taboo subjects about preparing for ‘death & dying’ – however, they all agreed that they found the sessions very informative and rewarding. As a result, Jolene has often been asked back to continue to facilitate such sessions with their members, using both sets of our cards.
Life Talks now has Speakers/Facilitators in all capital cities and some major regional centres including Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast who are available to give FREE workshops to various support groups and community organisations (eg CWA; Probus; Men’s Sheds as well as Carer/Support groups.
Health facilities are also having their Nurses / Carers / Social Workers using our Your Life Wishes cards to engage with their seniors/families, to assist with the sometimes more ‘difficult’ questions, regarding end of life Health Directives or Advance Care Planning questions.
Should you wish to book one of our Speakers for a free 'interactive' & engaging talk using our cards:
Please call Your Life Talks directly on 1300 966 110 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder & Director
Your Life Talks & Your Life Assist