Hello: A Game for End of Life and Death

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Before Clayton, OH cremations, you can start thinking about end-of-life care and death by playing a game called Hello, created by Common Practice, which is located in Philadelphia and is devoted to developing campaigns and tools to bring about social change.

Hello introduces the topics of end-of-life care and death in a non-threatening way. The game’s format is question and answer and it is designed to be played with a tableful of friends or family to look down the road into the future together.

The idea behind Hello is to get people to think through how they would want their end-of-life care to look and how they’d want their deaths to be. As morbid as these topics sound, these are all questions that we need to answer before we get there.

For example, one question asks, “In order to provide you with the best possible care, what three medical facts should your doctor know about you?” Other questions bring medical power of attorneys to mind – who do you want to make your medical decisions if you’re not able to make them yourself? If you haven’t designated a medical power of attorney, whatever the doctors and/or hospital thinks is best is what will be done, even if that’s not what you would want.

Additionally, the subject of living wills comes into play with questions that ask about whether you’d want all possible methods to be exhausted to keep you alive if you’re dying or whether you don’t want life-extending procedures done, but only comfort care administered.

The game addresses death issues as well. Do you want your organs donated? Do you want your body donated for scientific research? Do you want to be cremated or buried?

What should, if you choose to be buried or, if cremated, put in a columbarium, the epithet on your gravestone say?

What kind of service do you want, or do you not want a service at all? If you want a service, what do you want it to include and who should participate in the service and in what capacity? This one really looks at personal taste, and like many of the other questions, is designed to generate deep thinking, good conversation, and hearty laughter.

Some of the more thought-provoking questions include “what music do you want to be listening to on your last day alive?,” “who haven’t you talked to in more than six months that you would want to talk to before you die?,” “if you needed help going to the bathroom today, who would you ask to help you?”

At Penn State, Hello was played by people with chronic illnesses and their caregivers as part of a study conducted by the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. When the study’s researchers followed up with these people 90 days later, three-quarters of them had completed some type of advance care planning, including considering purchasing life insurance, creating advance care directives, and investigating hospice care.

The findings of the study concluded that not only was playing Hello a positive experience for the participants, but it also prompted them to take action to secure their end-of-life care and to plan for death.

If you would like information about funeral preplanning at Kettering, OH funeral homes, our compassionate and experienced staff at Glickler Funeral Home & Cremation Service can help. You can come by our funeral home at 1849 Salem Ave., Dayton, OH 45406, or you can contact us today at (937) 278-4287.

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