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A Difficult Conversation Made Easier

May 15, 2017

by Diane Kauffman, Marketing & Sales Manager 

The Hickman provides permanent and respite personal care to seniors. You are invited to The Hickman on Wednesday, May 24 at 5:30 p.m. to learn more about The Conversation Project.

One of the most difficult and most important conversations I have ever had was talking with my mother about the care she wanted as her final illness progressed. I was lucky. Mom and I are cut from the same cloth – we are people who see the importance of being prepared. She already had a plan for her care in mind that I was able to implement, and she had pre-planned (and pre-paid) a good portion of her funeral service. I will always be grateful to her that we could come together and prepare for her final days.

Most of us want to be prepared, but don’t know where to begin. The topic gets put on the back burner because there are so many things to accomplish today, and tomorrow seems far away. And truthfully, it is hard to talk about this topic.

If you are having difficulty starting your plan, visit The Conversation Project website at There you will find their Starter Kit (available in 9 languages) that will help you gather your thoughts and prepare to talk to your family. They even suggest some ice breakers to help begin the conversation. In addition, because it is important to choose the right person to make decisions about your medical care, The Conversation Project also offers a booklet How to Choose a Health Care Proxy and How to Be a Health Care Proxy.

Two interesting statistics from The Conversation Project include:

  • 90% of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important. Only 27% have done so.
  • 82% of people say it is important to put their wishes in writing. Only 23% have done so.

Don’t be counted in these statistics. Take the time to discuss your wishes with your loved ones. It will be a gift to them and to yourself.

Published in the Daily Local News, May 22, 2017