Read below to find out the criteria for your community to be designated as "EOL-Friendly" and the steps necessary to get there.
Here are some articles and resources to help you get started and change the way aging, dying, death, and after-death are approached in your community. Just click on the links under the headings below.
To meet this criteria you will need to sponsor ongoing workshops to help your community members complete their advance directives. Use surveys to estimate the number of adults (over age 18) who have accomplished this important step. In the interviews listed below we discuss the importance of advance directives.
The article and interviews below give you some ideas for end-of-life events you can host in your community. Also see the Action Steps handout available for download to the right. Set a goal to have one community-based educational event about the end-of-life per month. Then post flyers throughout the community for these events. In addition to the information you will be disseminating, people will get used to seeing terms like "End-of-Life" and "Death and Dying" wherever they go!
See the Action Steps handout for suggestions and resources on starting a palliative care program. This step will take some time and you will need contacts within the medical system to make this happen.
Evaluate the services available in your community. Are there options available to meet the needs of your current and future senior population? The interviews below present some of the current grassroots movements that could potentially assist with care of the elderly and dying.
Ideally your community should offer the option of a home funeral to those who might make that choice, and a green burial ground should be available within a reasonable distance. Learn more from these interviews:
Work with local hospitals and physician groups to encourage training for end-of-life conversations. Consider bringing in speakers to help inspire your medical community.