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.