How to Use the Elephant







Photos courtesy of Nelia Drenth Ph.D. taken at “Dying well: End-of-life Psychosocial Care” 21 January 2017 – South Africa

Each box contains a set of 96 cards, divided into four categories:

People & Places

Values & Beliefs

Definitions & Resources

Complex Care

Individuals and families may choose to focus on one category of questions at a time or they may select cards randomly to enrich discussion.  You need not work through all 96 cards, certainly not in one sitting.  Elephant in the Rööm™ is to be tackled one card at time, in whatever order you choose to pursue it.

Each card contains a statement, question or scenario to which people around the table may express their reaction/perspective based on experiences, values, beliefs and even fears. It is important to know that there are no right or wrong answers, but rather the possibility for enriched dialogue among people who care about and who will eventually care for each other.  Making a decision on behalf of someone else is much less burdensome when you are confident you know what they want without having to guess.

How you use Elephant in the Rööm™ is up to you. Just as there are no right or wrong answers, there is not just one way to use Elephant in the Rööm™ to facilitate your conversation. If you want to start out “light”, you might begin with the Values & Beliefs category.  It may be easier for you to talk about what or who (People & Places) is important to you rather then to jump right into the heavier considerations of Complex Care.  Maybe you want to test your knowledge a bit about healthcare needs and services, so you could start with Definitions & Resources.

You no longer need to be afraid to acknowledge the Elephant in the Rööm™. This tool will help make a daunting task seem less intimidating. The conversations you have will surely benefit your family when (not if) they need to carry out healthcare decisions in times of medical crises or traumatic accident. Give your loved ones and healthcare professionals the tools to advocate for your decisions.

You CAN talk about this!

Choose a card or

choose a category

and let the conversations begin!