Planning With a Purpose: Helping an Aging Loved One Prepare for Death

By on December 13, 2015
Planning With a Purpose: Helping an Aging Loved One Prepare for Death

By Madison Hewitt –

No one really wants to talk to a loved one about the prospect of death but when they are simply getting old or dying, it is a conversation that you need to have.

There is no doubt that wills and probate are an important aspect of death-planning and what happens to your assets after you have gone, as no one would really want to die without knowing that their last wishes will be carried out in the way they want them to be.

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Facing up to the truth

It is understandably never going to be easy to face up to the truth that someone you love is nearing the end of their life.

There are going to be a whole range of emotions that you will all be going through together.

It is very common to experience feelings of confusion, guilt or even denial and there may even be bouts of depression if they are suffering from an illness that has taken its toll on them.

It is distressing to see someone you care so deeply about suffering in this way and it is only natural that you might decide the best policy is to avoid the subject of dying altogether.

The problem is that there are a number of critical issues and topics that need to be addressed and discussed before it is too late, such as funeral arrangements and wishes and taking care of their financial situation.

Finding the right moment

Many of us will possibly experience feelings of even shame and embarrassment at the prospect of discussing subjects like whether your loved one has made a will or not, but there is no doubt that you will need to find the right moment to do this, however awkward it feels.

You might actually find that discussing their wishes and ensuring that they have everything in order such as making sure their dying wishes are carried out by having a will in place, does provide them with a degree of comfort and peace at such an emotionally challenging time.

Dealing with death itself

Planning and preparing for such a traumatic scenario as the end approaches is never going to be easy to deal with, but one way to look at the situation is that once everything is sorted and in order, you can concentrate all of your efforts towards helping them make their final journey.

If your loved one has a terminal illness and death becomes imminent, you at least have the chance to say your goodbyes in a meaningful and respectful way that helps you cope a bit better with such a tragic situation.

It is often the case that a loved one who is nearing the end of their life, will try to hold out for as long as they possibly can because they have worries about how their family is going to cope without them.

Try to provide sentiments of love and appreciation for the love and support they have provided in their life and also offer reassurance that everything is sorted, so that they can find some sort of inner peace as their life is approaching its natural end.

Helping someone you love at the end of their days is what we are here for and sometimes you need to have some difficult discussions about things like wills, so that everything is in order and you can concentrate on making their final moments as calming as possible.

Madison Hewitt is a family therapist. A kind and gentle soul she often brings mental baggage home from work and has taken to writing down her thoughts, turning them into articles to help others with tackling emotions and surviving all that life throws at us.


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Planning With a Purpose: Helping an Aging Loved One Prepare for Death