Presentation Descriptions


The Grief Journey
Where do we learn about grief – the most universal of experiences, the one we will all encounter and the one for which we are least prepared? This presentation will discuss the process of grief, why “it” never ends, the model of grief work, the power of grief, how to help a grieving friend and risk factors for complicated grief.

Helping children and teens deal with death
A child who is old enough to love is old enough to grieve. This presentation will address how children’s perceptions of death develop, how children and teens grieve differently from adults, how dead bugs explain death to a pre-schooler and how a Whack Wall helps get the “mad” out in a safe way.

The Art of Dying
If we are "whole persons" - mind/body/spirit - and dying is a natural process, then there can be three dynamics at work during this transition from life to death. Knowledge about this natural progression helps us to understand the experience and enables us to be present as we accompany others on their journeys. This presentation will address the physical, psychological and spiritual changes that occur as the body shuts down and offer ways to most meaningfully help the dying person.

Running on empty – How do we refuel?
In the busy lives that we all lead, feelings that we are “running on empty” may overwhelm us at times. It is so important to recognize what we are feeling and how we behave so that we address the issue to prevent burnout. This interactive presentation will examine a framework that encompasses personal and professional, individual and team coping strategies as well as encourage us to be more mindful of living “in the moment”.

When death visits the classroom
How do teachers and school staff help children who have had someone special die? The realization that death happens gives us the opportunity to teach healthy coping skills to children of all ages. This presentation will explain how to talk to children about the death of a classmate, parent or teacher.

Loss overload – helping patients and families deal with the many losses associated with Alzheimer’s Disease
Dealing with the multiple losses associated with AD is a huge challenge for families, caregivers and health care professionals. This topic will address these losses and explore how the grieving process helps us to integrate and adjust to these changes. Helpful interventions that facilitate this grief work will be discussed.

Multiple losses – Helping patients and families adjust to stroke loss
Health care professionals play an important role in helping patients and families identify and grieve the multiple losses associated with a stroke. Interventions that facilitate this grieving process will be explored and discussed.

The Passion of Palliative Care
Palliative care is a philosophy rather than a definition. It is the essence of living until you die ... and dying as you have lived, with dignity and grace. This topic addresses such issues as control, unfinished business, communication, compassion and caring.

End-of-life issues
How do we bring up such topics as advance directives, living wills, “heroic measures”? It is easier to bring up these topics when we are healthy and able to make choices for ourselves. Baby boomers caught in the “sandwich generation” often have difficulty bringing up these issues with aging parents. This presentation offers concrete ways to raise important questions and share personal wishes.