Death & Dying: Don’t get creeped out by tough talks

Categories: Care.

Steve isn’t sure how his family is going to take this news.

His kidney disease is beginning to progress, and his doctor is preparing him for the possibility of dialysis. Steve is 43 and married with two young kids. Since being diagnosed five years ago, Steve has worked hard to improve his diet and exercise regime in the hopes of avoiding what seems to be a family legacy – almost all the men have suffered from kidney disease and have needed dialysis. It doesn’t look like he will be any different.

He knows he needs to talk to his family about his future health care needs, but he’s worried this will upset them and they will be too afraid to have the discussion.

Steve is not alone.

A recent Harris/Decima poll indicates that while six in 10 Canadians believe it is extremely important to talk to someone about their end-of-life care preferences, only 45 per cent have done so. The poll also provides some interesting reasons why Canadians are dragging their heels on this important issue.

“It appears that while Canadians seem to know that it’s important to talk about end-of-life preferences when they are healthy, they are also quick to find excuses for not doing it,” says Cari Borenko-Hoffmann, advance care planning co-ordinator for Fraser Health.

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