How do I get my parents to take end of life care seriously?
August 22, 2014 3:28 PM Subscribe
Have you been successful at having the End of Life discussion with your parents? Would you please give tips on helping me to convince my parents to take it seriously?
I have read enough horror stories now of people's end of life experiences--medical, financial, the whole shebang--that I've approached my parents about their end of life wishes. Initiating the conversation is not a problem. The problem is getting them to take it seriously. They see no need for long-term care insurance. They have been demurring on prepping a living will for years now. Their actual will hasn't been updated since I was a teenager. Even their financial planner says this stuff is important, but my dad's response is "We have enough money" and my mom's response is "Just take me out back and shoot me!" Neither of them were directly involved in the end-of-life care of their own parents, so I wonder if that's clouded their ability to see how aging is a long-term process of gradually needing more and more help, not going from 100% independent to a swift, gentle end.
If they were to need constant care, I want them to be able to have it at home, with a live-in nurse if possible, and I know that is not something they'd be able to financially support long-term. My siblings and I are less financially stable, to put it mildly, and would certainly not be able to do it ourselves. If they have to end up in a nursing home, I want it to be a very good one, not whatever Medicare pays for after they've sold their home and stuff to pay healthcare bills. I don't want to end up arguing with my brothers about all of these things because our parents never discussed it with us. They're in their 60s and still think of themselves as young and healthy, so that's probably a big contributing factor to their reluctance to have this discussion. But my SO does inpatient and outpatient physical therapy in a nursing home, so I am all too aware of the number of active people in their 60s and 70s who go spiraling from an unanticipated stroke or a broken leg.
Everything I've read is either admonitions about the importance of doing this for one's loved ones or the importance of initiating the talk with one's parents. Nobody seems to be giving advice on what to do if you [i]do[/i] initiate the talk and hit a brick wall.
What else can I do? Should I give up and hope they change their minds? I'm not even 30 yet and I've gone so far as to start getting my [i]own[/i] affairs in order in hopes they'll follow suit.