Lincoln resident Rosemary Lloyd, a minister and former nurse, will lead a small group workshop introduction on Monday, Feb. 27 for families of dementia patients who may need help starting conversations about the patient’s wishes for care through the end of life.
Lloyd is advisor to faith communities for The Conversation Project, which is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. The organization recently published a free Conversation Starter Kit to support families and loved ones of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and Lloyd hopes to learn whether using it in small group settings would be helpful for family members and caregivers.
After briefly sharing their stories, participants in the 90-minute workshop in Lloyd’s home will use quiet reflection, brief writing exercises, and small and large group sharing to gain a framework and process for exploring what matters most to them and to their loved one. The session is not an informational meeting or support group for Alzheimer’s caregivers or patients; “it’s a chance for people to get some tools on how to manage having the conversation with their loved one and other family members and how to express [the patient’s] wishes for care,” Lloyd said.
It’s often hard to know when to have an end-of-life conversation with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, and sometimes when family members are ready, the patient is no longer able to express his or her wishes, Lloyd noted. In that case, “we try to imagine what they would say even if they can’t speak any more… we pull it back to the person” and away as much as possible from the sometimes complicated feelings and wishes of family members, she said.
There are four slots left for the eight-person workshop on February 27. Anyone interested should contact Lloyd at 617-359-3372 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn the time and address of the meeting.
Lloyd worked as a registered nurse and hospice volunteer before attending Harvard Divinity School in her 40s (she did some of her ministerial training at the First Parish of Lincoln). She is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and a graduate of the Metta Institute.