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P-43 Engaging communities in life and death conversations
  1. Ian Leech
  1. St Giles Hospice, Lichfield, UK


Background As part of our commitment to create Compassionate Communities we have developed a series of Conversation Boards to enable people, not only to talk but also to think about conversations relating to death, dying and bereavement.

Aims To engage our communities in non-pressurised conversations around death, dying and bereavement and create a place for related literature to be available.

Method Each year we ask our communities a different question, the answers are then placed on a board alongside relevant materials that viewers of the board can freely take. Before I die, I want to …. Inspired by Candy Chang, our first life and death conversation in 2014 asked people of all ages across our communities what is top of their bucket list.

I Want to be Remembered In 2015 we asked people how they wanted to be remembered or what they wanted to be remembered for. My funeral song. Music plays a big part in peoples’ lives so for 2016 we asked people to choose the one song they would want to be played at their funeral. What makes life worth while. We often talk of care being centred on the person, but to do that we have to discover what matters to those people we care for.

Results Since 2014 this project has enabled hundreds of timely conversations in a way that suits each individual. Over 100 pieces of death, dying and bereavement related literature is taken each month.

Conclusion Not everyone is comfortable talking about death, but in our conversation boards, we have found a way not only to communicate with people on their terms. It has helped us to discover what is important to people in our community and made us think about how we can realise their wishes.

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