Looking for opportunities to raise the issue

It may be helpful to raise the issues around planning ahead in connection with some event that is about to happen or has recently occurred: 

Financial planning around retirement 

“Coming up to retirement, we need to review things in our life such as finances and where we will be living. We need to make plans in case one or both of us can’t manage our finances. This might also be a good time to think about and make plans for our future healthcare.” 

Medical check-ups 

“I am due to have my annual check-up. There are a few things worrying me and I would like to discuss these with the doctor and tell him what’s important to me about my future care. Can I discuss these with you as well, because you might have to make decisions about my care at some time in the future?” 

Death of a friend or relative 

“After seeing the negative things that Uncle Jamie went through at the end of his life, I think it is really important for us to talk about what we want for ourselves in the future and do a bit of planning now while we can.” 

“It was so good to see that Grandma died in the way she wanted. She knew when she had had enough suffering and she let us and her doctor know ahead of time how far she wanted her treatments to go.”

Movies or news items in the media 

“I’ve just read about the problems families face if a person can’t manage their finances and they haven’t appointed someone to do this for them. We need to take action now so this doesn’t happen to us.” 

“It was terrible to watch the suffering that lady went through at the end of her life because nobody knew for certain what she would have wanted. I would hate that to happen to me, so I think we need to talk about what’s important to us.”