How You Can Help Your Adult Children Face Your End-of-Life

There are many reasons adult children might struggle to face their parents mortality. Let's face it, no one wants to think about death and dying much less talk about it. Yet, it's inevitable and deserves setting aside time to have a very important conversation while you are able to. 

As you grow older and end-of-life preparations are considered, there comes a time when you will need, and want, people to join in and help you as you go through the process of getting your affairs in order. At the very least, you’d like your adult children to acknowledge that the road does not go on forever and you’d like to be prepared for your sake as well as for theirs.

Specifically, we’re talking about having face-to-face, open and honest conversations with your adult children. As much as we might wish it were different, things will not go on as they are today, at this very moment, or perhaps even next month or this year. Hopefully, you will not have to undertake these preparations and discussions alone.

Do you have children who will engage in conversations that are sensitive?  Will your spouse be open to and able to lend a hand in making some decisions with you? Should you consider having conversations with the care manager at the retirement commmunity or health facility where you live and have been cared for?  Can your trusted advisor help guide these conversations between you and the next generation?

What your adult child might really be struggling with as you near your end of life is their own mortality. After all, if you’re getting older, they (your children) are too…and they may feel like they are not that far behind you and therefore choose to avoid the topic at hand. 

To get started, you can encourage and allow your child to express whatever feelings they may have about end-of-life.  Ask them some open ended questions such as “what worries you the most?” If you’re able to, it might help to arrange a specific time to talk with your adult children together with an advisor - someone they respect and trust - or perhaps even engage the services of a professional therapist.

You might suggest that as your end-of-life approaches, getting your affairs in order is not only important to you, it will also help them in the end and save them time and reduce family pressures that often arise when the inevitable happens. Additionally, you might wish to alert them about, or even include them in, the planning process so they can learn about what matters most to you.  Perhaps you will consider telling them about an item that is meaningful to you that you have chosen as a special keepsake, just for them. 

One of the greatest gifts of all that you can give your adult children is access to information when they will need it most after a life-changing event, such as incapacity or death, occurs. LastingMatters provides an easy, affordable, and comprehensive way to compile, document and organize your personal wishes and intentions related to end-of-life planning and planning for death, helping to ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones.