Consulting & Facilitation

About Conversations for Life

As a daughter, I realised that for patients and families, these conversations are about love and letting go. As a healthcare educator who’d taught this for years, but never done my own, I realised it’s the key to connecting up care.” Mary Matthiesen

“We found that many of our staff attending advance care planning courses were afraid of these conversations themselves. The barrier then to engaging patients and families around good end of life care was obvious. They didn’t want to do it. We have been a strong supporter of the Conversations for  Life workshops for staff across our network.”-Regional Commissioner

“I was new in my role at the Network when research came out that there was a need to engage our community beyond one day or week/year. And, that it was my job to do it. But how do we begin? I knew advance care planning, but I didn’t know community engagement-and I believed this should be community led.  So glad I called Mary.”-Regional Cancer Network Lead

CONVERSATIONS FOR LIFE® is a consulting and facilitation approach developed over 10 years in 2 countries to catalyse a personal and collective culture shift to improve the future care of local communities. In contrast to ‘system based’ approaches to advance care planning, Conversations for Life engages community awareness and connections to overcome the fears of talking about and preparing for our last days of living while we’re well in order to partner in improving our end of life care for the future where we live.

Based on the stories of local people now in multiple countries, conversations about death and dying are conversations about quality of life for the person/patient, and are the conversations held or avoided that the living (family members, carers) remember forever.

This facilitated approach engages people in communities to talk about and prepare for our last days of living while we’re well in order to partner in improving our end of life care for the future.

There is no one organization or program that holds the answer.

Culture change requires a shift in 4 key areas.

The CFL Consulting Model, approach and materials specifically offer a catalyst to engage the commitment of those in a position to influence our future care in 4 key areas so they can align with existing or emerging living and dying well initiatives in their area:

  • GP’s /Primary Care
    • Simple Tools to Start the Conversation for GP’s
  • Multi-Service Staff: Care Home/Community/Health/Social Care
    • Simple Tools to Start the Conversation
  • Hospices, Community Agencies, Faith Groups
    • CFL Community Convener Facilitation
  • The Public
    • CFL Public Health Campaign & CFL Public workshop

Specific Aims To catalyse a personal transformation within the participant to shift from:

  • fear/avoidance of starting conversations
  • lack of awareness of picking up cues to begin or
  • uncertainty about each role in supporting related conversations or end of life initiatives

to: the personal commitment -whatever their role- to engage in these conversations and connections personally or professionally as part of a collective movement to improve our future care.