Before Thanksgiving I didn’t blog, as I usually do, about “talking turkey” about advance care planning with loved ones. But have no fear, there’s still time before Christmas and New Year’s!
Here’s a lighter approach than usual, courtesy of the blog “Pallimed,” which offers these 21 conversation-starters (I’ve grouped them by theme). Some are humorous, others sarcastic, others just plain silly. At the least, they’re good for a chuckle. At most, maybe they’ll inspire you or your clients. You never know. Happy Holidays!
TV and Movies
- “Wow, that tackle looked like he might have a concussion. I hope he’s talked to his family about his thoughts on medical care before this game. Dad, what would you want if you couldn’t make your own decisions?”
- “Do you think Kim Kardashian is the health care power of attorney for her mom?”
- “Anyone else ever wonder how things may have turned out differently for Walter White if he’d had early referral to palliative care services?
- “I always wondered if Katniss did any advance care planning when she volunteered for The Hunger Games.”
- “I’m super excited to meet your parents for the first time. Are you the health care power of attorney for either of them?”
- “I know Uncle Bob is not here with us tonight (Bless His Soul), but I’m thankful he shared with all of us his wishes for when he got sick.”
- “Mom, I can’t believe our cat died.” “Well, kitty had an advance directive, and it said not to put him in a kitty nursing home or else he would haunt me forever. Now what would all of you at the table haunt me for if I didn’t follow your wishes?”
- “Did you hear about that reporter who tweeted from his mother’s hospital bed as she lay dying? Do you want me to tweet about that mom?”
- “What’s on your bucket list? Mine starts with an advance directive.”
- “Hey, do you have a second? I wanted to talk to you about something really important because I love you.”
- “Just so you know, if I choke on this turkey I would like a sky burial where my body is fed to the birds. It seems only fair.”
- “Do you think this delicious turkey had a living will?”
- Sing Grandma got run over by a reindeer. Then, “Well, if I got run over by a reindeer…”
- “Whoever assigned their Health Care Power of Attorney this year gets pumpkin AND apple pie for dessert!”
- “The holidays can be so depressing sometimes.”
“You want to know what increases the risk of depression? Not knowing the wishes of your loved ones when they get sick. It’s a fact.”
- “Deck the halls with boughs of holly? Ha! How about we deck these halls with some advanced care planning documents, people!”
- “Do you know what you want for Christmas?”
- “Mom, where are the coupons for the Black Friday sales?” “On the fridge next to my health care power of attorney.”
- “How about his and her living wills, wrapped in a health care power of attorney. Then we can talk about our values and thoughts on aggressive medical care over hot cocoa by the warm fire?”
- “Well only if I get to tell your Mom that I’m your health care power of attorney!”
- “All I want for Christmas is for you to tell me your thoughts on artificial life support and your ideas regarding an acceptable quality of life. Fa-la-la-la-la—la-la-la-la.”
- “Hey everyone, time to cut out paper snowflakes with my previous advance directives! I just updated them last night.”
- “I read this blog post where someone was trying to think of clever ways to bring up advance care planning and end of life issues at holiday dinners. Let’s try to think of some.”
If you come up with any others (especially humorous ones), please let me know.
Randi J. Siegel, MBA, is the President of DocuBank (docubank.com), the largest advance directives registry in the U.S., which ensures that the emergency information and healthcare directives of its 200,000+ enrollees are immediately available 24/7/365. Working with estate planning professionals since 1997, Randi frequently speaks at national estate planning conferences and has appeared on radio and television as an authority on registries. A board member for the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly and a member of the International Society of Advance Care Planning and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, she is active in health education and public engagement related to advance care planning and advance directives and serves as Pennsylvania liaison to the National Healthcare Decisions Day initiative. Randi is an ongoing contributor to the Academy blog.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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