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3 Tips For Talking To Your Parents About Their End-Of-Life Plans

Elderly parent with adult daughter

If your parents are starting to get older and you’ve witnessed their health beginning to decline, it may be time to start planning for the end of their life and the decisions that will need to be made regarding them. However, knowing when and how to discuss these things can be hard for many families.

If these are conversations that you haven’t had yet but that you know need to happen soon, here are three tips for talking to your parents about their end-of-life plans. 

Start By Talking About Your Own End-Of-Life Plans

To bring up this subject in a non-threatening and seemingly organic way, you might want to introduce your own personal concerns regarding your end-of-life decisions when your parents are around. Express how you want to make sure that your children know what you want so that you can get the best possible care and feel respected while you age.

Once you’ve expressed this, try asking your parents if they have thought about these things and what they might want as they get older. By starting the conversation in this way, you can help your parents not feel attacked or like you just want them to make quick decisions so that you can get this process over with. 

Have Some Questions Ready

As you talk more and more about what end-of-life decisions need to be made and what options will be available to your parents, you might come to find that they don’t really know what choices they should be making and how to best go about preparing for this time in their life.

To help ensure that your conversations don’t end with more confusion or upset feelings, try to have some questions ready to help give you the information you need and help your parents think about what they truly want. Ask them about things like what their current medical concerns are, who they want to make decisions for them if they aren’t able to, what types of treatments they are comfortable with if they want to move into an assisted living facility at some point, and more. 

Keep Records Of What You Discuss

Once you’ve had these conversations with your parents, ask them if you can document what you’ve discussed so that you can ensure that everyone knows how your parents want to be treated and what they would like for their health as they age. It may also be necessary to get legal documents drawn up so that you can ensure that their wishes are respected and followed by anyone helping with their care. 

If you’ve been feeling the need to speak with your parents about their wishes for end-of-life care, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you begin and move through these conversations. 

More on this topic:

Why a Healthy Lifestyle Is Important in Retirement

Why a Healthy Lifestyle Is Important in Retirement

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