Most likely there will come a time when your father will not able to make her own decisions about his medical care and financial matters. This can be due to an emergency like a stroke, or an ongoing worsening condition like Alzheimer's. When this happens, you will need the right legal documents in place, otherwise the decisions that get made may not be what he wants. We know how important it is to you to honor his wishes, but you can’t do that unless you talk to him in advance to understand what he wants.
Having “The Conversation” may seem like the hardest thing you will ever do, but we find that once you get going, it gets much easier, and most folks feel better knowing that their wishes will be honored. The people over at The Conversation Project have put together some great resources that we love. Here are some of our favorite tips to help you get going:
- Start the conversation with “I know this will be hard to talk about, but I need know what you want if you get really sick”
- You don’t have to cover everything at once. For most of us it’s not a single conversation, but rather a number of chats that take take place over time
- It can help to talk about your own planning. If you haven’t written your own Will or Advance Directive, this is the perfect time to do your own and your loved ones!
- Don’t be afraid to shed a few tears (or a lot). This is a sad topic, and it’s OK to cry (we do!). But having The Conversation tends to make everyone feel better afterwards.