Talking To Others

Why should I talk with others?

Many people are concerned with being a burden on loved ones. By planning ahead and letting others know what you want, you are easing their burden. It reassures them that they will be able to follow your wishes if they are ever asked to do so.

Remember that avoiding the conversation is not going to help. Avoiding the conversation might make things harder for everyone in the future.

Talking now allows you to plan for the life that you want to have.

Easing the burden

Alan and Jule discuss sharing their future living preferences and easing burden on their children.

A senior couple having a conversation with their adult children

We just don’t think it’s fair to burden children with the care of senior citizens. I guess we’re senior citizens now. But, it was something that we did talk with both of the kids about it as we were thinking about this, thinking about our plans. And we had very very strong support and encouragement. And I still remember when we called our daughter and told her that we put a deposit down in this retirement community, I had to hold the phone out here because she went “Yahoo!” She was very very supportive and very pleased that we had come to this decision on our own.

Certainly, we talked with the kids about it, but they were very very pleased. And they have, I believe, a great load taken off their shoulders through our decisions. And that, I guess you can be a little self-centered perhaps and say that’s a true gift that we’re giving them. But, I really do believe it is important because they know that we will have care, right on through to the end, as long as we need it.

When should I talk with others?

Now. The best answer is the sooner the better.

You want to start the conversation before a crisis happens, before there is a specific need. Give yourself and others time to think about options. Think about when you were looking for the home you live in now. You probably did not make a decision to move in right away – you may have looked around, looked at other options, weighed the pros and the cons, and made a final decision. You want to do the same when you are planning for future health events.

You can think of taking small steps if you need to. By taking small steps you can cover a lot of ground.

Think of this conversation as an ongoing one. You can always change your mind and your choices — just make sure that if you do, you let the people who may be asked to make decisions for you know.