Last week I was lucky enough to be able to attend a conference at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the United States. The subject matter was end-of-life care. Many people would shy away from such a topic. However, there were some really interesting, thought-provoking discussions that showed how important and enriching a topic it is. Pretending we are immortal is not such a wise thing to do.
What was particularly good about the conference was the excellent atmosphere there. It was the latest in a long-standing series of annual conferences and there was a very real sense of a community that has developed focused on the shared interests of the people who attend and the strong tradition of care, compassion and support that has evolved over the years. It was privilege to be there and be part of it.
My contribution was a presentation about stress in end-of-life care and the need for a strong commitment to self-care in situations where staff have to face raw emotion on a regular basis.
The theme of next year’s conference is children and grief. I will post more information about it when it is available.