ABC News: Dying is not the most comfortable topic of conversation, which is probably why most Americans avoid it. According to a 2012 survey by the California Healthcare Foundation, although 60 percent of people say they feel it’s “extremely important” that their family not be burdened by tough decisions about their end of life care, more than half don’t communicate their end-of -life wishes.
To help people get this difficult yet vital discussion started, Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical correspondent, hosted a tweet chat on the subject yesterday. Experts from The Conversation Project, AARP and Agingcare.com as well as hospice representatives, caregivers and patients from all over the country tweeted out excellent advice and resources during the one hour chat.
There are many ways to get the conversation started
Many tweeters advocated for doing your homework first; identify areas of concern, talk with other family members and make sure the right people are involved from the get go.
To get others talking about their own end of life wishes, the experts from The Conversation Projectsuggested asking them to tell you a story or share a letter about the death of a loved one such as a parent or a grandparent. From there you can ask questions and gently lead them into a discussion about their own life and death. This conversation starter kit can help get the ball rolling.