Conversations that Count
Face your fears with a Conversation that Counts
• National ‘day’ to begin talking about your wishes for your end of life
• Trained Conversationalists available at six West Auckland locations thanks to Hospice West Auckland staff and volunteers
Every year on or around 16 April, people around the world gather for Conversations that Count, an opportunity to help communities think about death and dying. This year Hospice West Auckland staff will be facilitating Conversations that Count on Friday 15th April at five locations around the region:
• Health New Lynn, Level 1, Totara Health Services, 1 McCrae Way, New Lynn, 10 am
• New Lynn Library, 3 Memorial Dr, New Lynn, midday
• Massey Community Centre, 385 Don Buck Road, Massey, 10 am
• Hospice West Auckland’s Living and Learning Centre, 206 Swanson Road, Henderson, 10 am
• Helensville Library, 49 Commercial Rd, Helensville, 10 am
Sadly, New Zealanders by and large remain resistant to talking about or even imagining what might happen at the end of their lives, says Hospice West Auckland Chief Executive Barbara Williams. “We see it often, even from our patients in their last days. While people may feel like they don’t have any assets, or are perhaps are unwilling to acknowledge the end is so close, we strongly recommend all people take the opportunity to begin these conversations – before they’re in the stressful situation of their own or a family members life-limiting illness.”
Conversations that Count are conversations led by a trained staff member or volunteer and focus on demystifying the end of life. They can be one-on-one or as a group, and in fact many people find the group approach adds additional meaning.
These structured conversations help people begin thinking about how they’d like the end of their life to play out, and how they’d like to be remembered. From wishes regarding care, including procedures and resuscitation, to types of burials, Conversations that Count cover all the bases, and leave participants in a position to begin putting in place an advance care plan and enduring power of attorney.
“People get turned off all the formal sounding language,” says Barbara, “but it’s vitally important. I find it odd how much attention we, as a society, pay to birth, what with birth plans and lead maternity carers, yet we don’t pay the same attention or respect to the end of our lives. Conversations that Count are an important part of our approach, in ensuring we all live every moment.”
No booking is required to join a Conversation that Count. Please pop by one of our locations this April, by yourself or with a friend/colleague/family member and invest in your life by thinking about its end.