Conversations for Life

We all want peace of mind. We all want the best for our future care, yes?

What we don’t realise is that we need to start talking and creating that future together. And we need to begin now.

My mothers death was the birth of Conversations for Life. It’s where I started to turn my story into a catalyst to make a difference that somehow inside, I knew I could make-even when I wasn’t sure how.

Fast forward 8 years and two countries, and the Conversations for Life approach and materials, has grown from a single workshop for baby boomer women in Northern California  to a nationally endorsed public health campaign pilot, workshops delivered to more than 2000 health and social care staff and facilitation for  rural and inner city communities in the UK with presentations at international palliative care conferences and publications in the British Medical Journal.

Requests for speaking engagements internationally created a challenge….and an opportunity:

How to expand the reach so others who wanted to could deliver the same.

The solution:

1. 1:1 Consulting on a few key projects I devote my time to launch or forward with aligned organisations each year.

2. Developing the approach and products we’ve delivered to engage the public, staff and communities into a series of facilitator trainings and product packs for others to expand the reach in their communities.

Want to know how this started, read on….

In 2006, I had a conversation with my mother that changed my life and her last days forever.

She got what she wanted. She chose to die consciously. I had never heard of ‘conscious dying’ before. Yet I knew now was that it took a series of conversations and connections to make what she wanted, and what 70% of us state we would prefer if at all possible, to live our last days at home with support- if at all possible.

Our conversation and the conversations that followed with my family, her healthcare team, and her community helped her to achieve this. Legally. Without euthanasia. With full support of her family, her doctors and those in her community. Yet we all had to talk about it in advance. And we all had to take up our roles and come together in our own ways in the end.

She was ready to go. She got what she wanted. And we got the peace of mind of knowing as her daughters, that we helped her to do just that.

Yet I knew this wasn’t the norm. But it should be. So I set out to make a difference.

I envisioned a “PR campaign with legs’ as I called it.

Campaign products: Local film, marketing, and web to signpost information and services led by a highly respected steering group.

On the ground:  Workshops for staff and the public to learn why and how to start conversations earlier, and facilitation for communities to raise this awareness and mobilise the untapped strengths that already exist to care for each other when we need it most  (all using and linked to the campaign products).

The rest of the story, warts and all, are in Dying to Make a Difference