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Hard conversations

Has your loved one tried to begin a conversation about death? Did that make you uncomfortable?

Have you tried to begin a conversation about hospice services or death? Did your loved one change the subject?

This is a difficult and wrenching topic to discuss. But it's important to realize that many people find comfort in talking about death and dying ahead of time.

Sometimes, a patient is troubled by the detailed decisions that lie ahead. An honest and open conversation among family and friends can help put a patient's mind at ease. A chaplain or family minister may be a helpful resource.

If you find this conversation difficult to start, there is help available to you. Your hospice workers can suggest a member of the hospice team who might help you and the patient talk about the decisions ahead.

One important gift you can give your loved one at this time is to try to listen and remember his or her wishes.



Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 06/01/2007

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts