Sunday, November 17, 2013

Holiday End-of-Life Conversations: Five Questions

Take advantage of this holiday time together to engage in important end-of-life conversations. They can be crucial later in honoring wishes of those we love and ourselves. After all, it’s a great opportunity to have more family members involved.

Engage With Grace is 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 our loved ones want, but we really don’t. Later in life, when several people are involved in making inevitable decisions about threatening health matters, guessing, confusion, and hurt feelings can easily hinder progress. Some negative feelings may remain long after the deceased loved one has died. The key to preventing these kinds of interactions is having end-of-life conversations when they can be positive, including personal opinions regarding loved ones' wishes. Fortunately, many people actually enjoy discussing their answers with loved ones.

Add new meaning 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 or during a healthcare crisis. Some who are present this year may not be present next year. Everyone can benefit greatly from answering these questions and implementing the suggestions given. The Caring Connections website has information to help with your plans. (Click on the questions below to make them larger):

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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