Welcome to the Business Bits and Bobs video series! In this 3 part video interview, Nicolette Smith of The End of Life Care and Lynette Delane of Kits and Bits discuss how technology has changed how we deal with death.

Key Takeaways from part 1:
1. It’s now easier than ever to seek support with online groups for carers or groups for people with specific diagnosis.
2. An End of Life Doula provides support and service that complement other services like palliative care.
3. It’s now easier to leave a legacy behind with accessibility of recording a video on your phone, or skype.

Nicolette works as an End of Life Doula providing information, guidance and support to those who are at the end of their life. She provides compassionate care at every step of the journey, allowing those involved to feel supported, nurtured and safe.

Nicolette’s interest in the End of Life care evolved from her own personal experiences of loss and provided her with a compassionate and respectful approach to life; a personal and intimate understanding of the grieving process and the types of emotional care needed.

Transcription for: How Technology has changed the way we deal with death with Nicolette Smith of The End of Life Care [Part 1/3]

Lynette:I would like to welcome today's guest, Nicolette Smith, from The End of Life Care, and we're going to be talking about all things technology and death, which is an unusual pairing of topics, but something that we both have had a lot of experience in lately and something that Nicolette teaches people how to deal with. Nicolette, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
Nicolette:Thanks, Lynette. It's great to be here. I'm what's called an End of Life Doula, and Doula means a person who serves or somebody who's like a support, so I'm a non-medical support person for people who just had a diagnosis of some sort of illness and are going through right til the person is dying.

I support the carers and the person who's in that process, and I provide information and practical support and emotional support. Yes, a new role, but a very important role, and it doesn't replace all the fabulous services that are already there, palliative care nurses and and things, but we complement that service in lots of ways and provide continued care. I guess that's the niche is that we are there from the beginning to the end.
Lynette:And you support in a lot of other things other than just the care. You help people plan their funerals.
Nicolette:Oh, yes. We do all the planning and just looking at, yeah, the emotional, and helping people have conversations and looking at their legacy.

There might things that they want to say to their family members or leave their family members. They might want to write notes or make a video, so yeah, we broaden out a lot of what the other services do.
Lynette:Right, and such an incredible service, and so Nicolette and I met probably a little bit late for me, so for those of you who don't know, my mum passed away in March 2016, and I met Nicolette, I think, just before that, so I didn't really know her well enough to think about her services, but now that I know her well enough, I would have hired her in a heartbeat, because it's a really tough time.

My Mum, she went into hospital. We weren't expecting her to be sick. She went into hospital, and five weeks later she was gone, so it was a pretty intense time. We had a week and a half in palliative care and the rest of it sort of in the hospital hoping that things were going to get better.

But, that whole process can be a really difficult process, and we were really lucky in that Mum had already done a lot of planning, had a lot of conversations.
Nicolette:Yeah, she was good wasn't she?
Lynette:Yeah, and didn't leave many regrets on the ground, but for a lot of people that's not the case.

So Nicolette and I are going to talk about that death process, but how technology can either help or hinder in that respect, and then in another conversation we're going to talk about your digital afterlife and how this digital world that we now live in completely changes all of the stuff that has to happen before and after death.
Nicolette:Yeah. It's made it a bigger job than what it's previously been, so yeah. People don't realize that unfortunately that's what we have to think about now.
Lynette:Right, so. So in talking about technology and the dying process, I suppose, and the things that people can use it for, what are some tips or some things that you've heard of technology being used for around that space when people are either, when they've been diagnosed or trying to find things out about their disease or trying to communicate with family members?
Nicolette:Well, I guess the positive thing now is we have access to information so easily.

So we can always do Google Doctor and get an online description of what's going on, but there's so much more information online, so people can read up more and have access to information about their particular disease or illness. I think too, there's more online support.

With Facebook there's a lot more support groups that people can talk to where they can swap information and talk to each other about what works and what doesn't work.

Going more so that's sort of the illness side of things, I guess, is carers. If you're isolated at home as a carer caring for somebody then again, that online support can be there. It's a way that they can easily get information and tap into the outside world, whereas before they would have been a lot more isolated.

Then with the dying, I guess once somebody's in more of a palliative care situation or a chronic situation in hospital, then that technology, again it's to communicate easily with telephone coverage now and email and Facebook and online, even Skyping and all those sorts of technology are great. People can connect easier. People don't have to fly in from other countries to speak to their loved ones. They can stay in touch with what's going on a little bit easier because you've got all that technology available to us.

Even when you think about legacy, you can easily now on your phone take a recording, do a video, so for people to be able to record stories and conversations, we've got that in our hands. Even taking photos, we've got it there. It's easier to record those memories and those times and get snapshots and people. For them to be able to share things as they remember them easily, it's much easier than it used to be.

The legacy, another Doula that I work with, that's what she wants to do is capture people's stories through video, so we've got all that available to us, and that's then easier when it comes to the funeral. You can pool all the photos together a lot easier with PowerPoint.

We're pretty lucky in lots of ways. It's made it a lot easier.

It can create other issues, I guess, when you think about Facebook and information being shared a little bit too early, or information that you might not want to have shared can be out there in the world, so I don't know. You've talked a little bit about your experiences around that.
End of Transcription N.B. This transcription has been edited for better readability, however, the general structure is the same as the video.

Bits and Bobs an interview series for new business owners looking to avoid the pitfalls that we who have gone before have either already fallen into it and climbed out of or managed to skip over all together.
Subscribe to watch other episodes where I along with other business owners dive into some less talked about and sometimes tough subjects highlighting some of those – “I wish I had known” topics so that you can get your business going faster and easier.

Cheers,

Lynette embodies an intrinsic ability to save business owners money by delivering back the all-elusive “spare” time so they can use it to do what they love. She puts these principles into practice in her own business – Kits and Bits. Lynette is an avid genealogist and tango dancer.

Lynette Delane

Tech Translator, Kits and Bits

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