End of life family conflict examined at free lecture
Family conflict that can occur at the end of a loved one’s life will be examined in a free public lecture, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Letters and Science.
“Understanding family conflict at the end of life” will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, by Amy Boelk, an associate professor in the UW-Stevens Point Department of Sociology and Social Work. Held at the Pinery Room of the Portage County Library, 1001 Main Street, Stevens Point, the lecture will include a question-and-answer segment. The presentation is the seventh of the eight-part College of Letters and Science 2012-13 Community Lecture Series.
Family conflict can have significant consequences for a dying individual and family, as well as for professionals involved, said Boelk. Based on research conducted in a hospice setting, this session will highlight the causes, contributing factors and consequences of family conflict at the end of life.
“People are living longer, but often with more complex, chronic, progressive illnesses that require longer-term caregiving,” said Boelk. “Fewer family members are available to share in caregiving than in years past as families are smaller, more members tend to work outside the home or live at a distance. Families are expected to play an integral role in decision-making and care provision, though communication in our health care system is often fragmented and confusing. When I tell people what my research is about, most have their own story to share.”
Boelk teaches several social work courses at UW-Stevens Point and coordinates the Field Education Program for social work majors. She has won numerous awards, including the University Excellence in Teaching Award. Her work on family conflict has been presented to hundreds of health care professionals across the nation, and she holds a doctorate in social work from the University of Texas at Austin.
The entire College of Letters and Science Community Lecture Series schedule and videos of previously recorded presentations may be viewed at www.uwsp.edu/cols/lectureseries.

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