Project EngAGE held a community discussion about preparing for death at the Seymour Center Thursday.
The program was hosted by one of several senior-led teams that focus on specific aging-related topics. Project EngAGE is led by coordinator Yvette Missri.
“Basically this group, their mission is really to raise awareness around the importance of talking about death and dying and normalizing it in our society, which is often a taboo, and also to raise awareness around planning,” Missri said.
The project leaders believe planning ahead for death can free older people and allow them to live with less pressure. The discussion was aimed toward gathering information from the community and allowing people to share their stories with others.
“We’re particularly interested in hearing what didn’t go well — were their loved ones’ wishes honored or not?” Missri said. “Did they suffer unnecessarily or did they have a good death? Did they die with dignity or didn’t they?”
She said they’re hoping to uncover the issues people are encountering and discuss them with the group to help shape the project’s initiatives.
The founder of Senior Care Management Associates, Bill Crittenden, opened the discussion as the moderator.
“While death is and has always been inevitable, we tend not to actually plan for it, even though accepting the fact of our death and making arrangements for care in advance frees us to live our end of days more fully, more serenely and calmly with the assurance that our desires will prevail,” Crittenden said.