Tuesday, November 13, 2012

End-of-Life Conversations Honor Future Wishes

The holidays provide wonderful opportunities for families and close friends to get together, reminisce, and have a joyful time. But what about happiness in the future? Eight out of ten people say it is “very” or “somewhat” important to write down end-of-life wishes, but only 36% actually have written instructions. Why not take advantage of holiday time together to engage in important end-of life conversations that can be crucial later in honoring wishes of those you love and yourself.

Engage With Grace  is a a movement aimed at promoting these kinds of conversations using the five questions below. They’re not easy questions, but they are important and shouldn’t be ignored. Sometimes we think we know what loved ones want, and we really don’t. Later in life, when several people are involved in making inevitable decisions about life threatening health matters, guessing, confusion, and hurt feelings can easily hinder progress. The key to preventing this negativity is having end-of-life conversations when they can be positive with personal input regarding what loved ones really want. Fortunately, many people actually enjoy discussing their answers with loved ones.

Are you aware that some chronically ill and dying Americans are receiving more care than they and their families actually want or benefit from? Add a new gift to your holidays by including thoughtful conversations that can improve quality of life. No one knows what the circumstances could be at future family gatherings during a healthcare crisis. You and your loved ones can benefit greatly from answering these questions and implementing the suggestions given by being proactive  when the time comes:

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers in America and other countries and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.

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