End of life care is a topic that can cause tremendous stress and anxiety for both aging parents and children. Not only is the notion of your parents falling ill, needing care, and then ultimately passing away extremely unpleasant, but it is also a very detailed process. So much so that it tends to make people overwhelmed and, consequently, push it off for another day.
“People feel uncomfortable talking about death or dying because they feel it’s ‘morbid,’” says Sarah Roffe, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Child Life Specialist and the co-founder of Kind Minds Therapy. Much like writing a will or other such necessary life planning, there’s a tendency to avoid such topics because it keeps the idea of mortality at bay.
The impulse — or the assumption that your parents already have this figured out — is natural. Despite the discomfort that may arise from end-of-life conversations, the fact is, they are absolutely necessary. And the topic needs to be broached sooner rather than later, particularly when the parents are healthy and in control of their faculties.
This Year, Mother’s Day matters to your family...
More than ever
Less than ever
About the same
Wish 1: The Person I Want to Make Care Decisions for Me When I Can’t
Wish 2: The Kind of Medical Treatment I Want or Don’t Want
Wish 3: How Comfortable I Want to Be
Wish 4: How I Want People to Treat Me
Wish 5: What I Want My Loved Ones to Know