Many of us struggle to discuss important and difficult topics with our families. Discussing future funeral arrangements for ourselves or our loved ones may be one of the most difficult conversations we can have, but also one of the most important. Being prepared helps to reduce the future emotional burden of planning a funeral while coping with grief, and help us to respect our loved one’s wishes. Below, we guide you through the process of having this difficult conversation with your loved ones around what matters most.
How to ask about funeral arrangements?
Questions about ageing and death are unquestionably the hardest to have but are the most vital to have. In the context of ageing parents, a shift occurs in the context of parent and child relationships when a child finds themselves stepping forward to support the parents. Yet we still avoid asking difficult questions about death and their future wishes, ultimately leaving these difficult decisions to the adult children to make by themselves at times of high emotional stress.
The important questions address medical and financial responsibilities:
- What do they want in regards to end of life care and choices?
- Who should be contacted and how?
- Who makes decisions for others when they can’t make decisions for themselves?
- What kind of funeral do they want?
- What will need to happen in regards to finances?
- Which important heirlooms need to be passed on and to whom?
Although uncomfortable and confronting to some, many older adults know exactly what they want in regards to end of life care and choices and once a conversation is started, the answers will come swiftly.
We recommend taking 30 minutes to sit down with your family and approach this dialogue one step at a time. Think about what happens when you aren’t able to speak for yourself anymore, what would you like and what needs to happen with you, in all aspects of your care. Start with responsible choices, an open-mind and diplomatic discussion.
Take the dialogue one step at a time; think about what happens when you aren’t able to speak for yourself anymore, what would you like and what needs to happen with you, in all aspects of your care? If you’re an older adult and your children are having a hard time discussing issues, get all legal matters taken care of and send them an email with bulleted points on everything you’ve done.
Advanced Care Directive Plan
An important document to complete is an Advanced Care Directive Plan, a government document that you complete outlining how you want decisions to be made when you are unable to make or communicate them for yourself. Complete the form at the end of their information booklet and keep this safe and with others to ensure your choices are respected, for more information visit Advance Care Planning.
Making a plan about what matters most for your end-of-life care and funeral plans before the event happens ensures you are able to have an opinion, your choices are respected and included in all aspects of your care and reduces the emotional or financial burden on others.
Saying goodbye is a unique rite of passage. Here at Olsens Funerals, you can speak to our friendly staff about your funeral arrangements in a comfortable, sensitive setting. We can do as much or little as you would like, an informal discussion or more formal arrangements such as prepaid funerals are both possibilities. We have the time and expertise to help guide families through this journey at a gentle pace.