Overcoming barriers to having a difficult conversation

There are a number of barriers that can make it difficult to start conversations about planning ahead.

It is helpful to be aware of these barriers so that you can find ways to get around them. Some of these include: 

  • a general reluctance in the community to talk about losing capacity or dying
  • a common feeling that we will ‘get around to these issues later’
  • a hesitation to raise issues with loved ones unless that person starts the conversation
  • cultural or religious issues such as informal taboos about discussing certain issues like making a Will or end-of-life care
  • reluctance of doctors to raise issues relating to planning ahead, even when a person is approaching or near the end of life
  • lack of a co-ordinated approach to care among medical specialists
  • information that is complex and difficult to find
  • differences in legal regulations and paperwork across states and territories.

Opportunities to start a conversation