Sep 15th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Preparing for Death

Seniors are frequently met with not imminent, but necessary situations in which a preemptive readiness serves well.  When health situations are such that there are increasingly present symptoms of not feeling “well” or “right,” this usually portends the need for a physician’s review.  There come times when even that may not address whatever is going on.  Such times open the door for being ready to take necessary additional steps.

Before there are any health issues which suggest death may be near, this is a good time to evaluate the details that will, at some point, inevitably follow.  Most seniors have made preparations, particularly if they have lived in the same place for a long time, their partner has predeceased them, they have had a series of illnesses or have been guided to take care of their own wishes in advance.  Especially is it important for everyone involved to be aware of those wishes.

It is also wise to review plans in detail so that there are no misunderstandings among the family later.  The critical issue here is that facing these issues at a moment when emotions do not run quite so high is to everyone’s benefit.  While there will be anxiety over agreeing to be up front about what will come, there can also be a mature and well thought through experience that allows for expressions of joy, appreciation for the one who is facing death, and shared affection that may even eventuate in laughter.

Be Specific About Details

Specifying the details is just one of the things that can be done, which allows for everyone to begin dealing with their own adjustments over the loss that will come.  Some are ill equipped to cope with the reality of death.  Some refuse to face it head on.  Some treat death with denial that it will come at all.  Of course, it will and it does.  And, if resistance is such that someone or several are not at all ready to deal with it, then the balance of the family will have to include that in their coping strategies.

Allowing for practical and open discussion of details does not speed the coming of death. It just enables readiness when the time comes.  It honors the participation of the one for whom plans are being put in place.  It gives everyone the opportunity for beginning to value every moment that will be left.  It does not have to be macabre or scary.  Once done, everyone can heave a sigh of relief and move on with living, including the one who is the focus.

Such experiences render an atmosphere for everyone to recognize that life’s blessings are rich and available, even in preparing for life to end.  Celebrate now and be ready then to mark a life with an experience of joy.

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