Survey Says

Hot off the press.

Ellen Goodman, Founder of The Conversation Project, recently released a survey that had some pretty interesting information about conversations about death.

And I would like to share this data with you and then we will talk some more.

Survey says... 

  • 9 of 10 Americans think it's important to discuss their own and their loved ones wishes for end of life care.
  • Only 3 of 10 actually discuss death.
  • Top reasons for not talking?  Listed next...
  • I don't need to worry about it now.
  • I am not sick now. 
  • I feel uncomfortable talking about end of life.
  • I don't want to upset my loved ones.
  • It never seems like the right time.
  • It isn't something to worry about at this stage in my life. 
  • 1 of 5 are waiting for others to bring up the subject.
  • 48% say they'd welcome the conversation and be relieved to discuss end of life issues.
  • 41% said, though difficult to discuss, they are willing to talk.

Yet the survey also said...

50% + of those who have had a loved one die without the discussion or knowing their wishes, say the experience could have been improved by having this conversation.

And 63% who had had the conversation, felt better knowing they honored their loved ones wishes and 39% knew their loved one died as they had wanted.

While not surprised by these statistics and comments, it is my passion to help those of you who are feeling scared, uncomfortable, in deep denial, or just plain squeamish about discussing end of life wishes.

One of the biggest bonuses of engaging in the conversation, will be the peace of mind you and your loved ones will experience if you have the conversation.  It is also extremely important to document these wishes and communicate them to a trusted person.  After all, the greatest hope and outcome of having the conversation is to clear the cobwebs of trying to determine what your loved one wants when those decisions are made during a time of great stress, deep feeling of grief and under the duress of time contraints.  

It is always better to make a plan for end of life instead of winging it.

What do you think about these statistics?  Where do you fit in?

Are you waiting for someone else to start the conversation? If you are, you may be too late. 

So get started.  The Conversation Project has a great "Starter Kit" to help you.  Don't be afraid to get your thoughts and wishes out on the kitchen table.  You won't regret it, and your family will thank you!

Have any of you used the Starter Kit? Tell me how your conversations went. 

In case you are wondering, I gave a copy to we are always having the conversation.