As the end of your senior’s life draws closer, it’s definitely time to open a dialogue about her final wishes. If you haven’t already had this conversation, the thought can often be far more intimidating than the actual talk. And chances are that your senior may have wanted to talk to you about this.
Get a Full Picture of the Options
You and your senior might be surprised by the dizzying array of options that are available for funerals and burials these days. Between new forms of cremation, like water cremation, and green burials, your senior may be able to make decisions about her final resting place that also fit with her beliefs about the environment and how family members can memorialize her. Traditional burial and cremation are still options, as well, and they’re worth fully exploring.
You Don’t Have to Buy Anything Now
Often funeral homes offer packages or deals if you pre-order and pre-pay. The reality, though, is that you don’t have to buy anything just yet. It’s a good idea to continue to research options and keep an eye on the options that fit with your senior’s final wishes. Waiting to buy gives you the opportunity to switch any plans that your senior changes her mind about. Also, be careful about package deals. Sometimes these contain services or features that your elderly family member neither wants nor needs.
Talk about Options and Write Down Your Senior’s Preferences
Each time you talk about these types of decisions, make sure that you take some notes. It’s tempting to believe that you’ll remember exactly what your aging family member wanted, but grief plays tricks on your memory. Having notes also allows you to go back over everything with your senior and ensure that you’ve covered absolutely everything.
Find All the Resources You Can
It’s tough to find all of the resources that you need for these conversations. There are so many different places to get information that you can find yourself easily overwhelmed. This is something that hospice elder care providers can help you with as well. They can point you in the right direction to find the information that you need to help your senior put together a final plan for her funeral, memorial service, or other burial decisions.
This can be such a strong way for your elderly family member to maintain as much control over the remaining decisions in her life as possible.