The "Talk" is Hard.
Make It Easier Over Pie
You know it's time. You may have already discussed it with your siblings. Why is it so hard to start the conversation about end-of-life planning with the seniors in our lives, particularly parents? Geriatric Care Managers recommends making it easier by having the conversation over pie while the family is together over the Thanksgiving holiday.
A positive family gathering is a perfect time to talk about the wishes and plans for older loved ones -- before a crisis hits. Many families have begun to use the Thanksgiving gathering and the positive experience of sharing a traditional dessert together as an annual time to start a conversation (or review a past discussion) about what is important to family members and their preferences regarding aging, long-term care, and plans regarding death.
Many professionals who work with seniors encourage a “Talk Over Pie” in order to keep up to date on changing situations and to stay connected with family members. Some topics to broach include:
- What plans are already in place for long-term care, if any?
- What are preferences for end-of-life care? Has this been documented? (see sidebar regarding MOLST forms)
- Who should be designated as Health Care Proxy to make decisions if your loved ones are unable to?
By understanding what your loved ones wants should they become incapacitated, you can make decisions on their behalf knowing you are carrying out their wishes. In addition to enjoying your family’s favorite holiday pie, your family will benefit by not having to guess - or fight – over what a loved one would have wanted.