TALKING WITH AGING PARENTS
Bringing it up is an important first step.
Once the subject is brought out into the open, families commonly report that it comes as a relief.
If a parent reassures you that “everything is taken care of,” it’s a good idea to press for specifics.
Consider using the following opportunities to bring up the subject:
Illness or death of a relative, friend or celebrity - A movie, book or TV program
Estate planning - Annual physicals - Change in health status
Use direct statements or questions:
"If you ever got really sick I would be afraid of not knowing the kind of care you would want.”
“It worries me that we’ve never talked about it. I’d feel better if we did."
“If you could choose, how would you want the time to be spent at the end of your life?”
“How can I best care for you at the end of your life?”
“What would you consider a good death?”
“What type of care would you want and not want at the end of your life?”
If parents live in a different state:
They need to have an advance directive that is valid for their state.
one for their state and your own state so you can be familiar with both before a crisis or emergency.