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OA6 Talking about death won’t kill you; introducing die-alogues
  1. Katherine Kortes-Miller
  1. Hospice Northwest, Canada

Abstract

Background Death holds a significant place in societies despite not being a direct or first-hand experience for many. Fewer people now die in their homes surrounded by family, and we have distanced ourselves from death by geography and the medicalisation of death. Our understanding of dying and death is influenced by the communities we live in.

Aim Die-alogues is an initiative hosted by Hospice Northwest intended to support meaningful conversations about dying, death, life and living. The mission of Hospice Northwest is to support end-of-life care in our community. By engaging in open, easy and respectful discussions about death and dying ourselves, we can better prepare ourselves to care for others as they face their own dying and that of those they love.

Methods Responding to an identified community need, we have partnered with community organisations including a music and dance studio, a leadership group and a research centre to facilitate this initiative. Our approach has been innovative and included a flash mob, Jeopardy games and various other strategies to facilitate and support community members’ discussions of living until we die.

Results Evaluations are positive. Our community has requested more opportunities for Die-alogues to continue. This initiative will hopefully expand in our region including within neighbouring First Nations communities.

Conclusion Our standing room only events demonstrate that our community wants to engage and be active participants in learning about dying and death and supporting one another. This presentation/poster will share some of the lessons learned from the Die-alogues community engagement process.

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