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‘Have You Had The Talk?’: Siblings Approach Mother About End-of-Life Planning

Posted at 9:57 PM, Feb 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-20 23:01:19-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 20, 2014)–Deka Bradshaw decided it was time for her and brothers to reach out to their mother for the first time about her end of life wishes.

In this situation, a child coming to their parent, there are so many different dynamics and in some ways it can be even more sensitive.

Experts say people need to start wherever their family is and work from there, figure out what is best for their unique family system.

In fact, experts say it never too early to talk. Deka says she realized how fast things can change after her dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at just 63.

 By opening the door with their mom, Wanda Winfield Kilgore, they realized the reality of end of life was already on her mind as she recalled what she went through with her own mother.

It’s a conversation that doesn’t have to be dreaded, try to enjoy it and make it comfortable. Experts say don’t worry, there will be distractions and different topics brought up but just work through it to get back on track.

It’s something that doesn’t even have to happen around the kitchen table, but over time as you accompany your loved one on their health care journey before a crisis happens.

Deka and her brothers talked with her mom about the importance of having a patient advocating and making it clear they don’t want to get caught up in their own opinions, ultimately understanding the value in listening to her wishes.

Wanda says she probably would have never came to the kids because of how hard of a subject it can be, but says she was surprised on how well they handled it.

 For more information on how to get your own talk started:  http://www.haveyouhadthetalk.com/toolkit.php