It is the holiday season — the time, maybe the only time of the year, when families get together. There will be lots of food, fun, songs, and presents. But, this may also be a good time for THE TALK. We have visited with many experts on the Elderhood Project who have told us over and over again, THE TALK is vital. Adult children are encouraged to sit down with their elderly parents and find out what they want for — for lack of a better phrase — end of life.

This conversation should include things like how they want to be remembered, where they want to lie in rest, and what medical directives they have; and this is a hard one. As a child, you will likely want your senior parent to hang on to life as long as possible, no matter what. But again, experts tell us, there comes a time in everyone’s life when they want to let go. That’s why THE TALK is important. It doesn’t have to be treated with gloom and doom. You may find, as you talk to a senior, they have lots of wonderful memories. These are things that must be noted. When the time is appropriate, those memories can be shared with other family members and friends.

It’s not like playing Jeopardy. The questions you ask the seniors, are the ones they know the answers to. It’s just the fact that nobody may have asked those questions before.

I don’t bring these thoughts up lightly. My mother and I have had THE TALK…not just about her, but me as well. It’s probably a good idea to have that conversation with your “significant other.” The important thing is to start the conversation. It won’t be easy. But you will be glad you did.