How to Talk About the End of Life

End of Life

One of the most challenging conversations that many of us will have throughout our lives is the one about the end of our lives. While this conversation is often uncomfortable and emotional, it is critical to ensure that our loved ones understand what quality of life means to us, what our wishes are and what we want for ourselves when we are no longer able to make decisions independently. The Conversation Project is one tool to help improve your comfort level in speaking with your loved ones about the end of life.

The Conversation Project

The Conversation Project was founded in 2012 by Ellen Goodman, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist who cared for her mother at the end of her life, when she was no longer able to speak or share her wishes. Ellen was faced with the situation many caretakers are—making decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to advocate for themselves without a roadmap. After her mother passed away, Ellen worked with professionals to develop tools that help people like us have conversations before a health crisis or accident happens.

How to Talk About the End of Life

Straight from The Conversation Project, here are some of the best ways to start the conversation about the end of life:

  1. Use the free conversation starter guides to start talking with your loved ones. These guides help you to gather your thoughts, record them and then talk about them. There are many different guides available, including one to help you choose a healthcare proxy, how to act as a healthcare proxy, one for people with dementia and even a pediatric guide that can be used by families with critically ill children.
  2. Work with professionals, like the team at Senior Care Lifestyles, to start more formal end of life planning procedures. We are always here to help support you as you plan for the future, even if you think that the future is a couple of decades away for you or your loved one. Taking the time now to plan can make things much easier for your loved ones down the road.
  3. Encourage those around you to be open about their plans for the end of life and think critically about them. For many adults, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to think critically about our wishes for the first time.

Plan for the Future with Senior Care Lifestyles

Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.

For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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