The end of one’s life can be a painful experience full of tough choices. What is your loved one’s preferred method of care? What kind of care do they want if they become incapacitated? What do they want to do, and where do they want to be in their last days?
These are challenging questions to answer, and they’re made considerably more difficult when you’re under a lot of stress. There are, however, actions you may do to make end-of-life preparation more manageable. It all starts with a crucial discussion with your family members about their final wishes.
Finding the right time and place
For certain families, the holidays or other family gatherings are great times to have these challenging conversations. Others may want a quieter, more private setting to talk. When and where would your loved one feel most at ease? Make sure your loved one feels comfortable and safe, whether it’s a one-on-one chat or a family discussion at home or elsewhere.
Write down essential questions you want to ask
There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to end-of-life care. Legal paperwork, hospice care, palliative care, life support choices, funeral preparations, burial or cremation preferences—the list goes on. Below are a few questions you could ask.
- What kind of treatment would you choose if you were diagnosed with a life-threatening illness?
- Have you designated someone to make choices for you if you become incapacitated?
- Do you have any preferences when it comes to the final arrangements?
- What can I do to best support you in making your decisions?
Important Things to Remember
- You’ll have this conversation more than once. Remind yourself that this is an ongoing conversation that will become easier as time passes. You don’t have to get everything solved in the first meeting.
- Ask if they’re comfortable with the conversation. By requesting permission to address such a personal subject, you assure your loved one that you will respect and honor their desires.
- Be patient. Many individuals find it difficult to talk about end-of-life concerns. Some people require more time to feel comfortable with the discussion than others, so be patient rather than forceful.
- Listen. Take this chance to really listen to and understand what your loved one is saying. These are significant and memorable times for both of you, despite their difficulty.
- Don’t judge their wishes. It’s critical that they feel free to express themselves. Although you and your loved one may not agree on everything, keep in mind that the conversation is about their final wishes, not yours.
The discussions you’ll have with your loved ones about their final wishes will be painful, but they’ll be well worth it. Please get in touch with Funeral Caring USA at any time if you have any questions concerning end-of-life discussions, final arrangements, or preparations. Our compassionate funeral directors are always available to help you.