Starting the Conversation

Having end-of-life care conversations can be difficult and determining where to start may be even harder. These conversations may be tough to initiate, but they are valuable and necessary for all involved. Consider the facts:

More than 90% of the people think it’s important to talk about their loved ones’ and their own wishes for end-of-life care.
Less than 30% of people have discussed what they or their family wants when it comes toend-of-life care.

Source: National Survey by The Conversation Project 2013.

Prepare for the conversation by thinking about the discussion. You may also want to write a letter or practice the conversation with a friend. Reflect on these topics:
  • Health – know health conditions and useful health information such as prescriptions, doctors, and medical records
  • Housing – should you stay in your current house or move
  • Legal – know what legal and medical documents are important to ensure wishes are honored when the time comes
  • Financial – know where to find important financial documents to avoid confusion
  • End-of-life Issues – ask what things, people, and milestones are important at the end-of-life
These free online resources can offer more suggestions, tips, and conversation starters to help the discussion flow:

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The Conversation Project – The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. Together we can make these difficult conversations easier. We can make sure that our own wishes and those of our loved ones are expressed and respected.

Starting the Conversation about Health, Legal, Financial and End

 

Let’s Talk” by ElderCare.gov – An excellent brochure with tips on how to “Start the Conversation about Health, Legal, Financial and End-of-Life Issues”