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Understanding each other’s end-of-live wishes – a difficult but helpful conversation

Talking with your loved ones openly and honestly, before a medical crisis happens, gives everyone a shared understanding about what matters most to you at the end of life.

Why talking matters
Sharing your wishes for end-of-life care can bring you closer to the people you love. It’s critically important. And, no matter how difficult, you can do it.

Consider the facts:

  • 90% of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important. However, only 27% have actually done so.
    • Source: The Conversation Project National Survey (2013)
  • 60% of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is extremely important.
  • 56% have not communicated their end-of life wishes.
    • Source: Survey of Californians by the California HealthCare Foundation (2012)

How to start?
You don’t have to ask and/or answer all the questions at once.  One resource is http://theconversationproject.org/where you can find any number of guides to help you with this conversation, including The Starter Kit.

Or, you can simply begin with small steps, introducing the conversation to your loved ones over time to ensure that you understand their wishes and they in turn understand your wishes.