Posted by Marjorie Raskin
On Thursday, January 8, CJP SeniorDirect presented the Conversation Project to JF&CS Parkinson's Family Support participants. Thirty-five people traveled in to JF&CS Headquarters in Waltham on a bitter cold morning to learn about the serious yet important topic of how to talk about advanced planning for end of life circumstances. The participants asked thoughtful questions and listened to each other's concerns and ideas on how to begin a conversation with family, friends, and medical providers.
A few comments participants shared included:
- What if my children don't want to talk about the reality that I am going to die?
- What if I don't have a relative or friend who would help me with these decisions?
- My father gave me a great gift by communicating to me what his wishes were before he died.
- This discussion today reminded me how strong I was as a caregiver during my father's illness and how meaningful it was to hold his hand during this sad time.
- While watching the ABC News interview, I agreed with Diane Sawyer's comment that the process is "estate planning for the heart."
We handed out resources and encouraged the participants to look at the CJP SeniorDirect website for the tools that could help individuals enter into a conversation.
Some resources you could review include:
- The Conversation Project
- Honoring Choices Massachusetts
- Aging with Dignity
- Commission on Law and Aging
The process of articulating how one would want to be treated and cared for is very personal and each individual will find help in different places.
Please join the participants of JF&CS Parkinson's Family Support and take a look at these valuable resources.
Marjorie Raskin, LICSW, has been a Program Coordinator of CJP SeniorDirect since 2006. CJP SeniorDirect is a free information and referral hotline staffed by eldercare professionals from JF&CS. Prior to joining JF&CS, Marjorie worked with older adults and their families at in-patient medical settings in Greater Boston.