Is it time to have an End-of-Life talk with a loved one but you’re not sure how to approach it? A recent story from the Chicago Tribune offers helpful tips on how to start the conversation.
Written by Bill Lowe, an elder care advocate, the story recounts the harrowing experience he had watching his great uncle suffer because he did not have an Advance Directive in place. “I’ll never forget the look on his face; he had lost his wife months before and here he was again in the hospital.” Lowe writes. “He was in pain and ready to move on but there was nothing we could do. It was too late to have a conversation.”
“Those moments etched themselves into my mind,” Lowe writes. “It’s that memory that pushes me to encourage older adults and their families to have conversations about their End-of-Life plans sooner than later.”
Lowe provides tips to help families work through the conversations:
- Bring It Up Through A Third Party: It may help to have a friend broach the subject. Don’t be discouraged if the first conversation doesn’t lead to action
- Tap Resources: Don’t go through the process alone. Review resources such as the Passare’s End-of-Life planning guides
- Take Your Time: Set aside blocks of time. Ask questions and as circumstances change, keep the conversation going
- Share Your Wishes: Discuss your loved one’s wishes with their powers of attorney and close family members
- Put It In Writing: Once completed, store documents in a safe place. If documents can’t be found when needed, you may as well not have an Advance Directive at all.
There’s no perfect moment to have an End-of-Life conversation, but taking the time to create an Advance Directive now is better than making decisions later during a crisis.
Read the story here.