NicBluCares Compassionate Community Glossary

Advanced Care Planning is a process that helps adults, regardless of their age or health, to consider and document how they want to be cared for at the end of life (see our favorite directive, Five Wishes).

Community Connectors signpost family, friends and neighbors to community services that could be helpful for making connections, finding resources, and accessing support. Connectors build community knowledge by bridging people to services. NicBluCares offers free training.

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are trusted, knowledgeable frontline health personnel providing based health and medical care within their community. They work as critical links between their communities and the healthcare system. CHWs bridge cultural and linguistic barriers, expand access to coverage and care, and improve health outcomes. Also called patient navigators.

Compassionate Community mobilizes its residents to provide practical and emotional support for its community members affected by difficult aging, serious illness, caring, dying, loss, death, and bereavement. It recognizes that care for one another at times of crisis and loss is not simply a task solely for health and social services but is everyone’s responsibility.

Compassionate Community Champions are people in the community who have a deep interest in helping people to increase their sense of belonging. They support people who are experiencing loss or those in need of a friend. A Champion will be willing to participate in the activation of community members to care for each other with dignity, equity, and respect.

Compassionate Town Charter is a cornerstone of a Compassionate Community that highlights best practices developed by the people to build compassionate activities and drive social change. The charter publicly encourages members of all sectors to facilitate, support, and celebrate care for one another during life’s most testing moments and experiences.

Death Cafe – The purpose of a Death Cafe is to talk about our thoughts, fears and hopes around life’s ending. This is not therapy, we’re just chatting about what matters to us, sharing experiences, and exploring death’s meaning for life.

Dementia Friendly Community is a place where people living with dementia are understood, respected and supported; an environment where people living with dementia will be confident that they can contribute to community life.

Deva Nation is the founding organization of NicBluCares, a Compassionate Community model (serving Nicollet and Blue Earth Counties, MN) and the Kato Towns Compassionate Charter, (serving Mankato and North Mankato, MN). See Déva’s Story.

End of Life Doulas are frontline caregivers who offer healing vs. curative care providing non-medical, holistic support and comfort to the dying person and their family. End of Life Doulas are journey companions who may provide education and guidance as well as emotional, spiritual, and practical care from initial diagnosis through bereavement.

Grief Companion truly listens with a willingness to connect with what is uncomfortable and deep – not pushing away the suffering but to enter into being fully available and present to hold space for the soul work of the one who is mourning.

Holding Space is to bear witness with nonjudgmental, compassionate listening to stories about losses and grief, without needing to advise, guide, or fix the situation.

Kellehear, Professor Allan is a medical and public health sociologist and the academic founder of the Global Compassionate Community movement and its umbrella organization Public Health Palliative Care International.

Public Health Palliative Care International is the umbrella organization for Compassionate Communities worldwide spanning hundreds of cities and communities in over 30 countries.

Signposting is suggesting to friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues a community program or service that might be of interest. Even though there is a huge amount of support available in our communities, we do not always know what is out there. Signposting helps people connect, supporting health, wellbeing, and social trust.

Social Capital is the networks of trust, cooperation and shared values within a community that allow its members to work together to achieve a common purpose and function effectively.

Social Palliative Care is a holistic community approach to support people who are experiencing crisis or loss by providing nonmedical, practical, or emotional comfort and care.

Talking Café is an invitation to connect with others in conversation around our community needs and experiences; to touch and be touched by the wisdom of our stories; to explore what matters most; and to tap into our collective creativity around resiliency.

We are in this together. Share your story with us.

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Supporting the Mission of NicBluCares