We Really Need To Talk

There are conversations we should be having with our loves ones about the end of life and that is why we made this podcast.

Gerontology professor Elizabeth Bergman and Geriatric Workforce Enhancement 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. 

Listen below to Episodes 1-5

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Episode 1

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.

Episode 2

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.


Episode 3

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 can understand. 

Episode 4

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. 

Episode 5

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.  

Information & Help

We would love to hear from you!  Let us know if you would like more information, have questions or ideas for topics or guests. Also get in touch if you need assistance accessing the podcast.

Editing and production support for the podcast was provided by Dr. Becky Lane, Jay Williamson, Ash Bailot, Rowan Buck and Wren Andujar of the Center for Creative Technology at Ithaca College.