A Caree Shares His Thoughts About End of Life


A Caree Shares His Thoughts About End of Life

Richard and Chris. Richard and Chris.

This morning on Your Caregiving Journey, Chris (@thpurplejacket) and his partner, Richard, joined me to discuss Richard's end-of-life decisions. You can listen to our show via the player below.

Chris and Richard volunteered to join me to share what a discussion about end-of-life can sound like. During our discussion, Richard spoke about his desires when his pain becomes too great, described what a good day feels like and shared what he whats from Chris.

Chris and I talked about the challenge of letting go of our own beliefs and emotions when it comes to a caree's wishes. As Chris explained, he and Richard have different perspectives and philosophies but he knows the importance of putting aside his beliefs so he can honor Richard's wishes.

If you haven't yet had an end-of-life discussion with your caree, consider starting the discussion soon. If you feel uncomfortable, simply say, "I'm uncomfortable with what I'm about to ask, but I've been giving some thought to your last months. I want to make sure I understand what you what and need. Would you be up to having a discussion?" And then go from there. The discussion is a process which means you might continue the conversation over several days and weeks and month. And, as your caree's health changes, you'll want to revisit the discussion to ensure your caree's wishes haven't changed.

These questions can help during your discussion:

1. How do you want to spend your last months and weeks and days?

2. What do you want from me during your last months?

3. What's a good day like for you? (This is a good question to ask regularly as the definition of a "good day" will change.)

4. Do you have any unfinished business you'd like to finish?

5. How do you feel about dying? What do you think happens after we die?

During caregiving, you'll face difficult decisions. When you know your caree's wishes, you'll know the right decision to make.

How have you handled you end-of-life discussions with your caree? Please feel free to share your experiences in our comments section, below.


I'm Ready. Will You Help Me? (I mentioned this article, which discusses a caree's conscious decision to stop eating and drinking, during today's show.)

End-of-Life Articles

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Loved the show! I've blogged here about how my father and I had bonded during the last six years of his life -- and I had to smile as I listened to TLO. Their voices (down to the measured tones) and outlook on life are so similar! (My father was born and grew up in Brooklyn.) That stubborn independence can be hell on wheels, but it is also a gift.