Center on Aging grad assistant speaks with BDN about end-of-life planning

Silas Walsh, a graduate research assistant at the University of Maine Center on Aging, was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News for an article about end-of-life discussions. “Topics related to aging and death are uncomfortable, and it’s easier to push decisions down the road and not think about it,” Walsh said, adding that 75 percent of people interviewed say they want to die in their homes, but only 25 percent do. At the UMaine Clinical Geriatrics Colloquium on Oct. 20, Walsh will help organize and facilitate a noontime “death lunch” for people attending the conference — mostly professionals working in health care, education, counseling, law, advocacy and other aging-related fields — to learn to create a relaxed, social environment for discussing the deeply personal and yet universal topic of dying, the article states. “The goal is to prompt an honest conversation about death, which is a taboo topic in today’s society,” said Walsh, who is pursuing a master’s degree in social work.