When it comes to end of life planning and preparing an Advance Care Plan, one of the most important parts of the process is to discuss your wishes with your family.
This can be a difficult step to take, because listening to your loved one talk about their future medical needs and death is more than many can face.
Whilst there is no “perfect” way to start a conversation about death and dying, it is vitally important, so here are a few tips to help make it easier:
- Start by simply asking your family to be part of it.
- Ask them to listen first and try to be respectful of your rights to ultimately make your own decisions about your future.
- Be clear about what you want to cover and suggest they spend a bit of time researching the topic so that you can have a productive discussion.
- Organise a time that allows you all to come together without any time pressures so that you can calmly talk about your end of life plans.
- Be open to considering all the possible options both in the immediate future (as well as in the longer term) that your family might raise.
- Don’t expect that you will be able to answer of their possible questions after one sit down. It may take several discussions over time.
No matter how the conversation goes, no matter how many times you need to discuss your end of life planning, always remember to enjoy the time you have with your loved ones along the way. Tell them you love them and spend quality time making memories that will last a lifetime – they will value that more than ever in the long run.