Planning for End of Life Care: How to Start the Conversation

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planning for End of Life Care

Having the discussion about end of life care planning can be a difficult one but talking about it now can give you peace of mind, as well as your senior and the whole family. While it is a sensitive topic, planning for end of life care with your senior early on will work to honor your senior’s wishes should they not be able to speak for themselves in the future. These conversations also help to ensure your senior’s dignity and satisfaction.

Talk About It

Discussing end of life care with your senior is possibly the hardest step to getting started since we typically do not like to think about death or dying. However, it is crucial to have these discussions now to avoid issues that may present themselves if your senior cannot communicate or speak for themselves at a later time. In addition, when this time does approach, you and your family can focus on spending quality time with your senior rather than having the burden of planning on your mind.

Put Everything in Writing

The next step following conversations with your senior is to put it all into writing. Living wills and advanced directives can help decide difficult healthcare choices. An advanced directive tells healthcare providers the specific care your senior desires should they become ill and unable to communicate what they want. Living wills are an important component in advanced directives that outline your senior’s wishes about medical treatments they do or do not want. These documents will allow your senior to express their wishes, and thus, greatly improve the quality of their end of life care. We recommend you consult with a lawyer to establish an advanced directive.

Don’t Wait

Since we do not like to think about death, or maybe because we feel that we are immune to it, it seems only natural to want to put off this conversation. Many seniors in North America would even agree! 54% have put off planning because they were in good health, and another 48% say they trust their family members to handle their arrangements. However, we do not suggest waiting too long for end of life care planning. Starting the conversation now will help both family members and caregivers (if your senior has in home care), more efficiently organize end of life care.

We understand – Planning for end of life care is difficult to think and talk about. So, if we can be of help to you and your family here at Home Care Assistance, please feel free to reach out to us.


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