Monday, November 19, 2018

5 Final Years Conversations to Begin Now

Who wants to think about a time without their loved ones? Or that moment when you take one long, last look into your mother’s eyes. Someday, your own children will be facing that heartache. “It’s a very sad thing,” noted Harriet Warshaw, executive director of the Conversation Project. “No one seems to want to talk about it so the topic is easy to avoid. In fact, every culture has their own taboos around death,” she said. For example, in modern-day European-based folklore, death is known as the "Grim Reaper" or "The grim spectre of death.” This form typically wields a scythe, and is sometimes portrayed riding a white horse. 
And yet, at an individual level, people do want to talk, Warshaw has found. University of Nebraska at Omaha Gerontologist Dr. Julie Masters agrees, and finds that telling others about her profession often opens the door to interesting dialogues about death. As a result, many times people share their own preferences for the end of their lives.  “In the book ‘Being Mortal,’ author Atul Gawande writes, ‘Death, of course, is not a failure. 
Death may be the enemy, but it is also the natural order of things,’” Masters explains. Research corroborates the desire that individuals have to discuss these issues. In a survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, nearly three in four seniors who have made plans for their final years have discussed them with their adult children, and half of those did so to let them know everything will be OK. (Read more.)

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