TALKING WITH ELDERLY OR SOMEONE W/ TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS

One way to approach the subject is to talk about why you have decided to talk about these issues.  For example:

  • Did a particular event cause you to make the decision?
  • Did an article in the newspaper or something that happened to a family member make you think about it?
  • What is motivating you to take these actions now?

HOW TO APPROACH FRIENDS / PARENTS

  • I  do this by referring to a recent death in the news or death that has touched us both. Then I can slide into the “preplanning equals saving money” approach. I’ve found that people say they don’t want to talk about the subject but when I bring it up, I can’t get them to stop.
  • Ask them to give you the gift of pre-planning “Mamma I have something that I’d realy like you to give me. I really want to be able to celebrate your life when you pass instead of running around fighting with the family. Can you …”

HOW TO APPROACH SOMEONE WITH A TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS

  • Asking about plans for pets, house. Can open with “I’m worried about Fido…”
  • Discussing a special event for children left behind. Ex: “What do you think about getting Jenny a journal to help her write about her feelings?”
  • Mentioning plans others have made. “Audrey’s daughter was telling me about the basket they gave to the food bank at Christmas in her mother’s name.”
  • Bring up an example of what a gift preplanning was for someone else “You know Edna made it so easy on her children when she had everything planned – they just couldn’t stop talking about it.”

HOW TO CONVINCE PATIENTS WITH A TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS

Make them aware that:

  • They will gain peace of mind knowing their wishes will be carried out.
  • They will save money for heirs.
  • They will ease the burden from loved ones, giving those left behind time to grieve instead of rushing around making plans.
  • They will get to have the last say – and gain some control – very big with terminal patients.