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“Hello” conversation game is about planning goodbyes

Apr 10, 2017 • by Penn State Health St. Joseph
Penn State Health St. Joseph

Penn State Health St. Joseph to offer comfortable—even fun—event for families to talk about advance care plans

Reading, Pa — Most Americans believe that it is important to talk about end of life, but few actually do it.  The inevitable is inevitable and that is the focus of a game about living and dying well, called “Hello,” that will be hosted at Penn State Health St.  Joseph April 19th. 

The event will be held in the Franciscan Rooms of the Bern Campus from 6 to 7:30 pm and is limited to 50 people and is part of National Healthcare Decisions week activities.  The week is meant to increase awareness around about advance care plans.

“Conversations about end of life care can be challenging to start,” says Palliative Care Navigator Deborah Nicholson RN BS CCM CHPN.  “When we first learned about (the game) ‘Hello’ we were excited because it not only does it make having these conversations more comfortable, they also can be enlightening for families, and even fun.  We’re trying to give this a ‘game night’ feel for families, but our team here, who work around these end of life issues day in and day out, will be there to help loved ones explore advance care planning in this unique and fun way.”

Nicholson says the conversation events are being held around the world in retirement and assisted living communities, places of worship, health centers, and hospitals. She said the events build connections, help participants overcome fears, and allow anyone to talk about living and dying well.

“Having these conversations is a gift to your family if they ever have to make decisions for you,” Nicholson added.

Here are some of the conversation-starter questions that are among the 32 potential questions from the game:

If only one story is told at your memorial service, who would you want to tell it?If you had only three months to live, what would you give yourself ‘permission’ to do?If you could pick anyone to sing at your memorial service, who would it be and what would they sing?Your will is a list of things you will give away after you die.  What gift would you be better off giving today than after your death?

Game participants are given a book to record their answers and thoughts during the game and advised that “you can change your answers at any time—even after you’ve finished playing the game.” 

To Nicholson, it is important that people know that advanced planning is dynamic and that circumstances may change over time and patients and families should know their plans can change with those circumstances.

Registration for the event can be made at 610-378-2001 or online at

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