Navigating End of Life Conversations with Your Loved Ones

with ProCare Hospice of Nevada

The topic of end-of-life is often a conversation that many avoid. Dying is a universal experience that everyone has in common yet there can be many factors that may cause one to shy away from this discussion. According to a 2021 study published in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 90% of people feel it is important to discuss end-of-life wishes, but only 27% have done so. Creating the space for open, honest and supportive dialog is essential, not just for you, but also for your loved ones. 

Taking a step back and asking “what matters” may be the first step in the roadmap to plan final wishes. Finding a place of honesty, openness and trust amongst yourself and those around you will help to navigate these difficult waters.

Understand that sometimes your heart won’t match your mind.
Understand that there is no right or wrong way to approach this difficult conversation.
Understand you may not always understand and know it is simply ok to not be ok.

Ask yourself, what it is that you want to discuss and possibly write down key points. It is important to walk into these encounters knowing you may not have all of the answers today but to leave the door open to keep the conversation going, at a later time. Some topics that you may consider are:

  • Where do I want to spend my last days?
  • Who do I want to be present?
  • Who will be the primary decision makers?
  • Have my wishes changed from our last conversation?
  • What does a good day look like?

Remember, this is a difficult time and you are allowed to feel how you feel, and be where you are, during this journey. There is no rule book, so pat yourself on the back often, because you are doing a great job.

To read this full article in our Spring 2022 edition of Atomic Health News, click here.