Article Text

Download PDFPDF

P-162 The harmony in living and dying approach (HILDA) in a hospice wellbeing centre
  1. Eleni Tsiompanou and
  2. Christopher Lofthouse
  1. Woking and Sam Beare Hospice and Wellbeing Care, Woking, UK


Background HILDA – Harmony in Living and Dying Approach – is a new way of exploring living, death and grief, through the positive prism of harmony while engaging in practical activities.

Method In the summer of 2021, we held six HILDA workshops at the Woking Hospice Wellbeing Centre. These were part of a ten-week Wellbeing programme for a Bereaved Relatives Group. All workshops started with the group gathering and having a cup of tea. A short meditation was given, followed by a one-hour programme based on harmony principles, the five primary elements (Ether, Air, Fire, Water, Earth) and the five senses (hearing, seeing, smell, taste and touch). The programme included information and practical elements as well as things to try at home, such as exercises and food recipes. A final sixth workshop was designed to bring people together, listen to their experience of the programme and ask their views, aiming to co-design future HILDA programmes.

Results and feedback Participants greatly enjoyed coming to the sessions which improved their sense of wellbeing, as measured by the ‘feel good thermometer’. Their experience of the HILDA programme was positive. They told us they felt that the most important aspect of harmony is the feeling of inter-connectedness and inter-dependence. They especially liked the practical aspects of workshops, such as: seeing and smelling the various herbs and learning about their uses, walking mindfully; being in the garden and smelling the flowers; drawing a geometrical pattern; trying at home the recipes given. People felt encouraged to speak freely and sincerely from the heart. A human feeling of connection was there. It was not just about one teaching another, it was about engaging, listening and understanding.

Conclusion By introducing harmony as a positive framework, HILDA can catalyse creative ideas for people to engage with living and dying, helping to overcome anxiety or fear of death.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.