End of Life Care: How to Start the Conversation

By Tom Lee, 8:18 am on
end of life care

We understand it can be difficult to talk about planning for end of life care, but doing so can give peace of mind to you, your senior, and your family. Even though this can be a sensitive topic to discuss, planning out end of life care options will help to honor your senior’s wishes if and when they are no longer able to communicate what they want or need. End of life care planning is an important part of ensuring both your senior’s satisfaction and dignity.

Talk About It

Talking about end of life care with your senior is perhaps the hardest step to getting started because we naturally do not like to think about death or dying. However, it is necessary to have these discussions now to eliminate any issues that may arise if your senior cannot communicate or speak for themselves at a later time. Additionally, when this time does approach, you and your family can spend quality time with your senior without having the burden of planning on your mind.

Put Everything in Writing

Living will and advanced directives can help decide difficult healthcare choices. An advanced directive will help to tell healthcare providers about the care your senior wants should they become ill and unable to convey what they want.

A living will is one piece of an advanced directive that will define your senior’s wishes about medical treatments and what should – or should not – be done. Having this conversation and allowing your senior to express their wishes will greatly improve the quality of their end of life care. We recommend you consult with a lawyer to establish an advanced directive.

Don’t Wait

Because we do not like to think about death, or we feel that we are immune, it feels natural to want to put off this conversation. In fact, in North America, 54% of seniors have put off planning because they were in good health, and another 48% said they trust their family members to handle their arrangements. But it is not wise to wait too long for end of life care planning. Having this conversation now will help both family members and caregivers (if your senior has in home care), more effectively organize end of life care.

We know end of life care is hard to think about. If Home Care Assistance can be of any further help to you and your family, please call us for a consultation.

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