Bucket List Festival is back, addresses digital after-life

The Bucket List Festival returns Sept. 26, featuring engaging speakers, helpful resources and awesome bucket list prize experiences.

UFV Professor David Thomson will be discussing your digital afterlife in the second annual Bucket List Festival on Sept. 26

UFV Professor David Thomson will be discussing your digital afterlife in the second annual Bucket List Festival on Sept. 26

Do you have a plan for your personal assets after you die? What about your Facebook profile?

After a warm response last year, the second annual Chilliwack Bucket List Festival on September 26 will offer ways to get the most out of life when there is a limited amount of it left.

Hosted by the Chilliwack Hospice Society, in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice, the festival is intended to help people living with life-threatening illnesses, those in their golden years, and of course, their family members and caregivers, to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

Dr. Pippa Hawley, Head of Palliative Medicine at the University of British Columbia, initiated the first Bucket List Festival in 2011 for attendees to gather and discuss living well despite nearing end-of-life.

“The focus of this year’s event is to provide people with information and resources to help them plan and think about the future,” explains Colleen Rush, Education Coordinator at the Chilliwack Hospice Society.

The event will feature four informative and engaging presentations by industry experts:

  • How to really “talk” with your doctor, Dr. Chantal Chris
  • Community health care resources panel,Laura Clarke (RN, BSN, GNC), Dr. Ralph Jones, and Dr. Neil Hilliard
  • Advance care planning, Cari Borenko Hoffmann (Fraser Health)
  • Planning for your digital after-life, Dr. David Thomson (UFV)

While Hoffmann’s presentation will focus on health-oriented decisions that you can make now to prepare for the future, Professor Thomson’s presentation addresses the relatively new digital aspects.

Everything you’ve ever written, photographed, or kept is what makes you who you are. “A generation ago, these would have been a bunch of pieces of paper, or a detailed scrapbook that would be passed on to next of kin,” says Thomson.

Now that personal records are digitized and locked up in a password-protected computer, the question becomes “what’s going to happen to them when you inevitably die? How does someone else gain access?” Thomson asks.

Additionally, “about a third to a half of seniors are on social media,” Thomson says. They should decide whether they want their social media accounts to be deleted, left up, or managed by a selected person after death or debilitating injury.

Though it may seem inconsequential to some, this decision can be outlined in your will and, as policies are evolving, in your social media settings as well.

Online banking exposes the financial perspective. Does anyone else know your account password? Are there services or memberships that charge a monthly fee? “If you were to die, how long would it be before that recurring charge would be noticed by anybody?” Thomson asks.

“When someone dies, it’s always traumatic to the people around them. If they can’t access the necessary information, it just adds to their anxiety and stress,” Thomson explains.

From updating your will to organizing your emails, the festival presenters will provide tangible actions that you can take now to prepare for and manage your future.

The Bucket List Festival takes place Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chilliwack Alliance Church (8700 Young Road).

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at chilliwackhospice.org, in-person at 45360 Hodgins Ave, or by calling 604-795-4660.

The ticket price includes lunch and the chance to win some amazing prizes, courtesy of local businesses, that may just fulfill a bucket list dream. Prize experiences include a helicopter ride, paragliding flight, river raft expedition, paintball sessions, horseback rides and more.