HEART TO HEART
Facing the End of Life with Dignity and Respect
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Heart to Heart™ is a communication activity designed to make it easier for a family member, a caregiver, or a health provider to understand what a loved one wants done when life is ending. However, it is also used with perfectly healthy people who want family members to know what they would like when their lives are threatened by injury or disease.

Heart to Heart Cafés

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What is a “Heart to Heart™ Café”?

At a Heart to Heart™ Café, people - often strangers - gather to eat pastries, drink tea and discuss death.

Why would anyone want to do that?

Our objective is to increase awareness of all the things one must consider when death is approaching, with a view to helping people make the most of the time they have left. Basically, a Heart to Heart™ Café is a group-directed discussion of death. It is free and held in an accessible and confidential space. Heart to Heart™ Café topics are determined by attendees, using CACCC’s Heart to Heart™ cards.

How our cards are used in the Heart to Heart Café - A Quick Summary
  • Each deck of cards contains a total of 54 cards, 13 Spades, 13 Hearts, 13 Diamonds, 13 Clubs and 2 Jokers (Special Wish cards). A different issue is printed on each of the cards, with the exception of the Special Wish cards, which allow a participant to add an issue not included in the deck.
  • Each member of the group chooses 12 cards from his/her deck that are the most important to him/her - three spades, three hearts, three diamonds, and three clubs - and sets the rest of the deck aside.
  • The facilitator then asks each participant to choose three cards from the 12 that are the most important to him/her and list those cards on the Heart to HeartTM Participant Evaluation Form.
  • Next, the facilitator asks them to choose one of the three that is the most important.
  • The facilitator begins the discussion by asking one of the participants why that card is most important. Others who chose the same card are encouraged to add their explanations. As the discussion progresses, the facilitator answers questions about the issue raised on that card.
  • This process is repeated until all 12 cards chosen by participants have been discussed, or there is no more time remaining.
  • After the discussion has concluded, each group member “revises” his/her choices if necessary and records them on the Heart to HeartTM Personal Summary Sheet/To Do List
  • Using the Personal Summary Sheet/To Do List and resource materials provided by the facilitator, participants then complete their Advance Health Care Directive or take it home for completion.
The facilitator reminds participants to share their preferences with those who may be responsible for carrying out the participant’s preferences. Participants are also encouraged to use their own Heart to HeartTM deck to foster discussion of issues involved in advance care planning among family members, friends, etc. Educational materials are available at each Café and opportunities for further education are provided on the Participant Evaluation Form.
CACCC volunteers have already conducted:
10 Cafés in the Los Angeles area
5 in the South Bay
3 in Sacramento
1 in Taiwan

Two more Cafés are scheduled on November 22 in Sunnyvale.
Want to attend CACCC’s Next Café?
Want to get your family involved?
Want to learn how to do your own Café?


To participate in a Heart to Heart Café, or to sign up for CACCC’s next Facilitator Training, contact us at admin@caccc-usa.org

Heart to Heart Facilitator Training

The CACCC provides Facilitator Training to prepare volunteers to conduct Heart to Heart Cafés.

The six-hour training includes:
  • Working with CACCC
  • What do I need in order to hold a Heart to Heart™ Café?
  • What does it take to host a Heart to Heart™ Café?
  • Being a Heart to Heart™ Café facilitator
  • Venues, refreshments and timing
  • The Heart to Heart™ Café session
  • Publicizing your Heart to Heart™ Café
  • Money, sponsorship, and volunteer ethics
  • Heart to Heart™ Café quick start guide
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CACCC's 3rd Heart to Heart Café Facilitator Training was held at the City of Hope in Southern California on July 29.
TEST CAFE´S HELD Prior to the Facilitator Trainings, CACCC held two test Cafés in Los Altos, one on April 25 and one on May 23. Once the trainings were completed, CACCC's first formal Heart to Heart Cafés were held on July 16 in Sunnyvale and on July 20 in Los Angeles.
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Nine CACCC volunteers received Heart to Heart Café Facilitator Training on July 6 in Sacramento: Janice Tsai, Frances Choo, Angela Hamilton, Tina Bryan, Christine Han, Peggy Lee, Ying Lee, Paul Chow, and Lucy Chao.

A week later, another eleven volunteers received the training in San Jose: Jean Yih CM, Diane Chi CM, Kofen Lai CM, Kai Lam CM, Sherry Shih, Bernie Kwan, Ai-Chung Wu, Cindy Chen, Maggie Chang,  Teresa Cheng, and Carrie Huang.
One Facilitator Training was conducted in Taichung during CACCC’s Taiwan Tour. The latest Facilitator Training was held on November 1 at City of Hope.
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Hui Ju Liang provides a personal view of our Facilitator Training

~一場以心映心的對話~
台中榮總安心卡工作坊心得

梁惠茹撰文

1021日清晨天露曙光,與同事秋華驅車北上,參加由台中榮總緩和療護病房主辦的「安心卡工作坊」,主講者是令人敬佩的護理前輩,也是美華慈心關懷聯盟(Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care)的創辦人陳明慧女士(Sandy Chen Stokes)。

走入台中榮總緩和療護病房的大廳,隨即感受到工作人員的用心,場地佈置像回到自家客廳般溫馨,這真是個適合知性成長的好所在。一開始,Sandy即破除我原本抱持的狹隘觀點,自以為學習重點是如何使用「安心卡」(Heart to Heart Card)作為溝通生命末期議題的工具。原來,安心卡的角色是一場生命對話的引子,其所延伸而出的溝通過程,表達對生命末期的想法與期待,進而化作行動,將此訴諸文字,即「預立醫療自主計畫」(Advanced Care Planning),這才是安心卡的重要目標。

安心卡就像是我們熟悉的撲克牌,每副共有52張,其中兩張是特別心願卡,紅心代表靈性需求,方塊代表財務需求,黑桃代表身體需求,梅花代表人際需求。當Sandy以「分享模式」引領我們使用安心卡,實際親身體驗後,更讓我有另一種體悟。原以為這是一場與他人的溝通,卻原來是跟自己的對話,讓自己更認識自己,了解自我的價值觀及其優先次序。

這場與安心卡的初相遇,也讓我看見人與人之間的同與異,同樣面對生命的最後時刻,每個人的期待各有不同,即便選擇同一張安心卡,背後的動機與理由也未必一樣。巧合的是,我與同事兼好友秋華對於靈性之需求,兩人竟然不謀而合,我們不約而同選擇了一模一樣的3張卡,包括「死後八小時內,遺體不進冰庫」、「我希望過世時,有人替我助念或祈禱」、「我希望死得有尊嚴」,果然是物以類聚,彼此皆是同「道」人,皆為「安寧人」與「佛弟子」。

坐在大廳,聆聽每位夥伴最後的分享,金黃色的夕陽餘暉由窗外撒入,那畫面真是難忘!更難忘的是,Sandy說「傾聽是生命靠近生命的捷徑」,這句話為精彩且充實的一天畫下美好句點。特別感謝中榮團隊的招待,感恩曉峰大夫帶我與秋華參觀病房,以及講師Sandy的無私分享,帶給我們許多的知性成長。

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你、我、他的生死大事
令你茫然嗎?
請給自己一段聆聽內心聲音的時光
在安心茶話屋,茶香嬝繞中
搭起溝通的橋樑
縱然談生論死,依然可以從容坦然
因為,能處理死亡
才更知道如何快樂健康地活著

誠摯邀請您來到安心茶話屋
一杯熱茶、一碟茶食,一副牌
一起討論生死

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WHO WE ARE
The Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care, the only coalition in the nation devoted to end-of-life concerns in the Chinese community, is an active working coalition of 48 Partner Agencies and over 1,300 individual members.

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©CACCC, 2006