Keep in mind that this is a conversation, not a debate, sometimes, just having someone to talk to is a big help. Be sure to make an effort to hear and understand what the person is saying. These moments, although difficult, are important and special to both of you. Some important things you can do are:
- Listen for the wants and needs that your loved one expresses.
- Make clear that what your loved one is sharing with you is important to you.
- Show empathy and respect by addressing these wants and needs in a truthful and open way.
- Verbally acknowledge your loved one’s rights to make life choices – even if you do not agree with those choices.
Having conversations with your loved ones about their end-of-life wishes can be a sensitive discussion. These conversations matter and are needed to learn about your loved one’s wishes so that those wishes can be honored at the end of life.