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We Really Need To Talk

Author: Ithaca College Gerontology Institute

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We Really Need To Talk is a podcast about the conversations we should be having with our loves ones about the end of life. Gerontology professor Elizabeth Bergman and former Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center Program Coordinator Lisa Richards and their guests will talk about how to approach these conversations as well as how to sort through last wishes, advance care planning and choices about life-sustaining treatment. And they do it all with a healthy dose of love and humor. 

5 Episodes
In this episode, storyteller and end-of-life care advocate Kimberly Paul explores the power and possibilities unleased by facing end of life issues head on. She argues that talking about dying helps us to live more fully and be a more powerful presence in the lives of those we love. Resources Kimberly Paul's website's tour The Death Deck Pille...
This episode is about an important health care document – the healthcare proxy. Anna Rosenblatt, a Practice Facilitator at Cayuga Health Partners in Ithaca, New York will talk with us about what a healthcare proxy is and and why it’s important. We’ll also talk about who is a good choice, how to talk to your doctor about it and what happens if you don’t have one. Resources NYS Healthcare Proxy document and info: NYS Guide to...
Dr. Thomas Caprio, who specializes in geriatric medicine, hospice, and palliative care at the University of Rochester Medical Center, discusses life-sustaining treatments in the case of a serious illness and at the end of life. He talks about the importance of the healthcare proxy and how that person can work with the healthcare team to respect the patient's wishes around care. He’ll also touch on medical jargon and how it’s okay to ask your doctor to explain the situation in terms you ...
The Conversations

The Conversations


Angela Mennitto, a death midwife and community educator, and Deb Traunstein, a medical social worker, in Ithaca, New York talk to us about why having end-of-life conversations is so important. They'll discuss why it's so hard, what may happen if you don't have the conversations and what role culture plays in how we talk about death. Resources Dr. Ira Byock is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of lifeAngela Mennitto'...
In the introductory episode, Elizabeth and Lisa will tell you why they wanted to make a podcast about end-of-life conversations. They will share their experiences of how a simple letter or set of instructions from a loved one helped ease the pain of those left grieving. They will discuss the importance of having ongoing conversations about this difficult subject.ResourcesAn eight minute PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly video about doctors and end-of-life discussions