Caring Cultures in end-of-life care

Telling about caring cultures in end-of-life care. Students and citizen scientists doing intercultural and intergenerational research

“Care” denotes a practice of mindfulness and stands for a practice based attitude, for caring activities and attention. In a broad, political understanding, care refers to a policy that serves as guide and directive for organizations, communities, or even society as a whole. "Cultures of care" are cultures of social systems, i.e., families, teams, organizations, or communities, that seek to care for vulnerable people. The focus is on promoting social and organizational frameworks that make good care livable.

Many students entering nursing education encounter dying people for the first time during their first internships. They are not always well prepared for the emotional impact a death can have on them. The project aims to open up a space for them to share and reflect on their experiences.

This will happen in 12-15 intergenerational and intercultural Storytelling Cafés and in 8-10 qualitative narrative interviews. Narratives will be shared with Citizen Scientists: people with dementia (Supported Self-Help Group PROMENZ) and very elderly persons (cooperation partner CS Caritas Socialis and Dokumentation lebensgeschichtlicher Aufzeichnungen). Students of the Caritas Schule für Sozialberufe in Vienna and students of the FH Campus Donaustadt in Vienna will prepare, participate in and co-moderate the Storytelling Cafés. The Cafés will be digitally audio recorded and analyzed in cooperation between scientists and students. In this way, the project will generate innovative knowledge about Storytelling Cafés as a research method.

The project will produce several transfer products: In the teaching package "Storytelling Café", all materials developed for the implementation of the Storytelling Cafés will be made available anonymously for teaching and for the interested public. Short, anonymized stories are to be developed as "teaching cases" from individual narratives on cultures of care at the end of life. A short film "Caring Cultures at the End of Life" with contributions from the students and other Citizen Scientists will be recorded in the third year of the project and made available for teaching. For the scientific dissemination of the findings, the project will produce several scientific publications and a cumulative dissertation.

(Photocredit © Privat)