We make choices throughout our lives — where we want to live, what types of activities will fill our days, with whom we spend our time. These choices are often a balance between our desires and our means, but at the end of the day, they are decisions made with intent. Somehow when we get close to death, however, we stop making decisions. We get frozen in our tracks and can’t talk about our preferences for end of life care.
Studies loom out there — 73% of Americans would prefer to die at home1, but anywhere between 20-50% of Americans die in hospital settings.2 More than 80% of Californians say their loved ones “know exactly” or have a “good idea” of what their wishes would be if they were in a persistent coma, but only 50% say they’ve talked to them about their preferences.3
But end of life experience is about a lot more than statistics. It’s about all of us.
In the summer of 2008, Matt Holt (Founder of Health2.0) and Alexandra Drane (President of Eliza) met with some friends for dinner. Over their second cocktail, they got deep into conversation about these very topics. Many of us live with such intent — why do we put the end of our lives in someone else’s control? Why isn’t this a conversation that people are having? How could we help start it?
And it hit us — What if we could work together to start a viral movement — a movement focused on improving the end of life experience? What if we took responsibility for starting a national (even global) discussion that, until now, most of us haven’t had?
Engage With Grace: The One Slide Project was designed with one simple goal: to help get the conversation about end of life experience started. The idea is simple: Create a tool to help get people talking. One Slide, with just five questions on it. Five questions designed to help get us talking with each other, with our loved ones, about our preferences. And we’re asking people to share this One Slide — wherever and whenever they can… at a presentation, at dinner, at their book club. Just One Slide with just five questions to help get us talking. Just One Slide that we as a community could collectively rally around sharing — in meetings, at a conference, or over a drink.
This is the link to the slide, and this is what we are asking you to do…
Download The One Slide — http://engagewithgrace.org/Download.aspx
Share it any time you can — at the end of presentations, at dinner, or at your book club. Think of the slide as currency and donate just two minutes whenever you can.
Commit to being able to answer these five questions about end of life experience for yourself and for your loved ones. Then commit to helping others do the same. Get this conversation started.
Let’s start a viral movement driven by the change we as individuals can affect …and the incredibly positive impact we could have collectively.
Donate just two minutes to adding just this One Slide to the end of your presentations. Get others involved. Help ensure that all of us — and the people we care for — can end our lives in the same purposeful way we live them.
Just One Slide, just one goal. Think of the enormous difference we can make together.
Author, The Health Care Blog
Son to a mother who died suddenly, aged 47
A grandmother who died after suffering from Alzheimer’s for 5 years
President of Eliza Corporation
Proud sister in law of Rosaria “Za” Bertone
Believer in the Power of Conversation