The Conversation Project in Boulder County formed in 2013, based on the nationally-acclaimed work of Boston Globe columnist and author, Ellen Goodman. Her project took root after she had the experience of guiding her dying mother’s care. Unfortunately, they had never broached this delicate subject and Ellen found herself adrift, not knowing what her mother’s end-of-life care wishes would be.
Constance Holden and Jean Abbott, MD, co-founded this county-wide initiative to develop different avenues tour mission is to foster meaningful and effective conversations around future medical care, resulting in the appointment of an informed decision-maker. With over 80 combined years of experience working with people facing end of life, they were aware of the challenges we face when we’re not prepared for end-of-life choices.
Since 2013, the Project has reached over 10,000 people in Boulder County.
Starting the conversation is never easy – no one wants to sound gloomy or to upset ourselves or others, but families and health care professionals report that it is a relief when the subject of how we want the end of our life to look is brought into the open and our choices can be honored because of careful forethought and conversation.
Practically Dying has been involved with the Project since its beginning. I sit on the Advisory Board and work as the Education Consultant, helping with outreach efforts to a variety of communities. Visit the website to see how any of the events and offerings can help you start these critical conversations. And enjoy this short video that gives you some ideas about what to say!