News and upcoming events of The Conversation Project in Boulder County.
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Our mission: 
Fostering meaningful and effective conversations about end of life care 

Welcome to Spring

Ever wonder who needs the conversation?

Indeed, all adults need, should, could have a meaningful conversation about what is important to them at the end of life. Of course, a 40-something may have a much stronger drive to live than someone who is 80. Mother’s and Father’s Day will soon be upon us. As strange as it may seem, you may want to wrap up a blank Conversation Starter Kit and give this to that parent of yours who is so difficult to shop for. Don’t be surprised if they welcome the opportunity to talk to you about their values and wishes. Don’t be surprised if they welcome the opportunity to talk to you about what matters most. If they seem startled, explain that you want to carry out their wishes if you cannot make decisions on their own. (Studies show that nearly half of us will not be able to speak for ourselves at the end of life.)

The Conversation as a Birthday Gift

Claire Riley, a volunteer with the Conversation Project, tells this poignant story about how her birthday gift united her siblings when their mother was dying.

Early in 2004, my single sister Kathy invited us to join her at the family home in Upstate New York to celebrate her 50th birthday, us meaning just the original 10 siblings and our parents -- no spouses, children or grandchildren. And the invitation was for 8 days. We all gladly accepted!

(Read the whole story by clicking here.)

Alzheimer’s Disease and Having the Conversation 

It is impossible to predict when and if someone will develop Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia. We, of course, suggest that all adults be proactive and choose a decision-maker (agent) and complete a Medical Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (MDPOA) document. If you have not already done this and you receive a diagnosis Alzheimer’s Disease, it is vitally important that you get your medical and financial affairs in order. This one-pager about dementia and using the Starter Kit will serve as a guide. This may be a perfect time to seek the guidance of a coach. This is a free service of The Conversation Project. 

Co-founders, Jean Abbott and Constance Holden will be speaking at the Rocky Mountain Conference on Dementia on April 29th. They will be joined by University of Colorado Health, Geriatrician Hillary Lum. You may wish to attend this annual conference that always received rave reviews. Hope to see you there. 

You have all heard the old adage about the two certainties in life; taxes and death. In 2011, Nathan Kottkamp, a healthcare attorney, founded NHDD and set aside April 16th as the day to honor and recognize the importance of choosing decision-makers and having meaningful conversations about ones wishes. In 2016, his non-profit merged with the national office of The Conversation Project. 

This year, Boulder Community Health and The Conversation Project are focusing on making your documents accessible. Documents in drawers at home are not helpful to emergency room personnel. We suggest the following: 

  1. Give copies of your documents to your decision-maker(s)/agent.  It is suggested that you have an alternate listed on your MDPOA document.  
  2. Provide a copy of this document to your healthcare provider in the clinic.
  3. Take a copy to the hospital when you are admitted or are having a procedure. 
  4. Carry a wallet card that mirrors the information on your MDPOA document. You can print off this card or we are happy to mail them to you.
  5. Come by our exhibit at Boulder Community Health from 11-1 on Wednesday, April 17th, by the cafeteria. (News Flash: The new Della Cava Parking Structure is open, relieving the parking woes on the Foothills campus!) 

If all of this is confusing and overwhelming, do request a one-to-one meeting with a coach.

Area Agency on Aging
Caregiving Symposium is Coming Up!

The Conversation Project will be amongst the exhibitors at this annual conference with will be at the Jewish Community Center this year. Stop by for free Starter Kits and MDPOA Wallet Cards.

Other Upcoming Events

We each want our personal values to be honored throughout the story of our life until the very end.  This presentation introduces basic information about dying and death that can help inform mindsets, options and choices to make your life and death richer. WHEN: Wednesday, April 17, 10am to 11:30am WHERE: Longmont Senior Center, 910 Longs Peak Avenue, Longmont. No charge but must register in advance at 303-651-8411, Registration Code: 284235

The Coffee Klatch is hosting Advance Care Planning presented by Kim Mooney from The Conversation Project on Thursday, April 18 from 2-3:30 p.m. at The Natural Funeral at 102 W. Chester Street in Lafayette. Please join us for a discussion about power of attorney, proxy and body disposition. For more information, contact Michael Chifalo.

Wishing all of you a magnificent spring!

We appreciate your emotional and financial support of this important Project.
It is easy to donate to The Project.
Copyright © 2019 The Conversation Project in Boulder County in c/o TRU Community Care, All rights reserved.

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