Collaboration with community organizations in Life and Death Education

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Abstract Summary
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Authors (including presenting author) :
Kong WLR (1) Chan MNM(1), Au Yeung TW (2), Leung TT (3), Chan KY(4), Tai LM (5), Chu TY (6), Kong YS (7), Lee YT (8), Lam WY (9), Ng PK(10)
Affiliation :
(1) Patient Resources Centre, Pok Oi Hospital, (2) Cluster Primary & Community Health Care, New Territories West Cluster , (3) Hospice & Bereament, Service Division S.K.H.Holy Carpenter Church DECC, (4) S.K.H. Holy Carpenter Church DECC , (5) The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong, Life Angel Education Center, (6) Lingnan Univesity Hong Kong, (7) Support Service Centre for Ethnic Minorities Yuen Long Town Hall, (8) Hong Kong Women's Christian Association, (9) Yau Oi Lutheran Centre for the Elderly, (10) Tai Han Center Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation
Introduction :
Based on the concept of compassionate community, the project is to engage the community in conversation and sharing to raise the public consciousness in death preparation and community support to patients and their families.
Objectives :
This project employs a scaffolding strategy in promoting Life and death education in collaboration with NGOs through community participation. Awareness programs and new initiation of supportive service for bereaved family were developed. The medical social collaboration is fostered by establishing a community network with NGOs.
Methodology :
In collaboration with community, awareness programs are organized for hospital staff, patient and carers in hospital to raise consciousness and open up sharing on aspects related to life and death. A community network with membership from NGOs was established to create service synergy and to sustain the collaboration in the community. The followings are the collaborating programs organized under the network. i. Professional training for social service and healthcare professional. ii. Psychoeducation activities for the patient and their carers in hospital. Activities like Death movies; and “Chit Chat Death” sharing session which focuses on medical decisions, interpersonal relationships, and funeral issues. iii. Individual family support service to provide information and emotion support to the family and patient in their late stage of life. Befriending emotional support is rendered by a team of trained volunteers. Iv Forum on life and death education for medical, social service and health care provider to share experience and exchange information.
Result & Outcome :
A series of psych-education programs on life and Death education were organized; and a community network was created to provide a platform to steer and monitor the development of the service and to sustain service synergy with the community. Both quantitative and qualitative evaluation was performed. 38 families served by individual family support service, more than 5000 attendance in education and promotion programs, a volunteer team was set up and 6 professional training workshops and 2 professional forums organized. Community Network on Life and Death Education was established and the synergy is sustained by regular meeting and joint project on community education. Qualitative evaluation was captured by statement from program participants  「讓我感覺能令多些人了解死亡,及早準備,如預設醫療指示、信仰和靈性的準備、身後事安排、與家人道別。明白到怎樣才是一個理想的死亡。」 「Very inspiring, encourage worker to provide training on life and death in difference ways, also have a deep reflection. Also very informative!」. Since the project is still in progress, the meso-level social impact will be further evaluated with the dimension of community participation and capacity building. .

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