The Wind Came Home is a touching and heartwarming interactive performance that opens up a space to talk about end-of-life choices.
The objective of this puppetry tour to 50 senior centres was to offer seniors an opportunity to talk about end-of-life issues and wishes, create awareness for palliative care, hospice care, advance care planning, and substitute decision-makers, as well as learning to seek help when in need.
Each performance was also followed by small group conversations conducted by volunteer-facilitators.
A total of about 1800 seniors were engaged at senior centres in 2014, and then in 2016. The responses from seniors were largely positive, and they were grateful for the opportunity to discuss end-of-life issues, and be introduced to advance care planning (ACP). In 2014, advance care planning was a new area largely unknown to the public. Thus, support staff on the ground were not adequately exposed and trained for follow-up to ensure more impactful and sustained outcomes. They, however, were linked up to institutions like hospitals that had ACP facilitators who could support their efforts, as well as the Agency for Integrated Care which is the national ACP coordinating office.
For the 2016 run of the puppetry tour, however, the training of senior centre staff before the performance being staged at their centre was woven in, with selected staff members attending ACP Advocates training. This was well received by staff members, and a positive development as seniors had direct touchpoints at their centre for follow-up conversations and planning.
Overall, the tour was successful in reaching a significant number of seniors across the island, contributing towards the capability development of centre staff as well as service linkage with other institutions. The tour also provided real opportunities for centre staff to have end-of-life conversations with the seniors where they had expressed challenges in creating spaces to do so.
A total of 70 volunteer-facilitators were trained to be advance care planning advocates, and were involved in facilitating conversations with seniors during the tour.