Addressing the ‘Elephant in the Room’: Conversations About End-of-life Choices

Posted on 06/28/2013

Public Insight Network: There’s this idea of the “perfect death.” It usually involves living to a ripe old age without experiencing cognitive or physical impairment. Then one day, preferably immediately after engaging in a favorite activity, you just drop dead.

The reality is that very few of us will actually experience the end of our lives this way. We’ll grow old slowly and likely lose abilities we once had, meaning we won’t be able to live as independently as we once did. This is true for us, and it’s true for our parents. We know this, and yet most of us still don’t talk about it.

The conversation about long-term care and end-of-life issues is among the most difficult discussions a child can have with a parent. Yet, addressing these topics early can avoid headaches, save money and establish an understanding of preferences and expectations.

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