I love this story. The village is such a wonderful example of human-centered design!
In the clip, there was a mention of the importance of music. It reminded me of a documentary I recently saw called "Alive Inside" and there is a part in the movie that demonstrated how music can unlock certain portions of the brain related to memory/joy/etc. I know Oliver Sachs did quite a bit of work in this area as well. I'm including the clip below with a description of what it includes: "The clip begins with video of Dryer looking largely unresponsive to the outside world. Then he was given a pair of headphones to listen to Cab Calloway, his favorite artist. The music energizes him, awakens him and helps bring back old memories. We play clips from the film and speak with Cohen about his project, "Music & Memory," which he hopes to expand around the world." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zo_JQZo3Y0
Jim Rosenberg I think another really important point is to not only think about how patients and patients' families prefer to talk about death, but how doctors themselves prefer to talk about death. What I found to be interesting was that by using the word "die" doctors in a way admit to their failure: “Worse, death has become medicine's enemy—a reminder of our limitations of medical diagnosis and management. Viewing dying and death as merely a failure of medical diagnosis… trivializes the final event of our lives, stripping it of important nonmedical meaning for patients, family, and society. Respect for the wholeness of life requires that we not debase its final stage.” - http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/26/1/157.full
That said, I think it's important to be sure to think about not only the patient's experience, but the doctor's experience as well as the beginning and tone of the conversation starts there.