Date: November 6, 2020

Author: Kathleen Boziwick

One of the hardest conversations a person will partake in has to do with end-of-life medical preferences. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most useful conversations, as well. It can be difficult and stressful talking about our wishes when we are faced with a catastrophic illness. If your elderly loved one is in this particular situation, remember the most important thing to do is be patient and gentle with them. If you are a home care provider or family caregiver, you can start helping the elderly person in your life by assisting them with making a list that will help them during this difficult time.

List of Important Contacts

Your elderly loved one might want to start by making a list of important contacts when they are making their end of life preparations. Some contacts that they should include in this list include the following:

  • Family members – parents, brothers, sisters, and other family members
  • Close friends – any friends who they want to have informed of their passing
  • Doctors – any doctors who need to be informed of their passing or need to assist them during their end of life situation

Your elderly loved one might also want to put any religious figures on their list of contacts. For instance, they might want you to contact their pastor as the end draws near.

List of Important Documents

There are many types of important documents that need to be mentioned when it comes to making end of life decisions. Some of these include the following:

  • Will – if your elderly loved one has a will, make sure they write down where it is located and how the family can get to it
  • Bank accounts – a list of all bank accounts can be useful during this time
  • Social security number – it might be useful to know where the family can find your elderly loved one’s social security card
  • Other legal documents – if your elderly loved one has any other legal documents, have them write these down on this list

In addition, your elderly loved one might want to have a list of medications they are taking. This can be very useful in cases where hospice is called to their home. It allows them to know exactly what they are taking for pain or other ailments.

List of Things They Want to Do

Your elderly loved one might also want to make a list of things they would like you to do during the last few months or days before their pass. In addition, they should include what their wishes are after their death. For instance, do they want a funeral, do they prefer to be buried, or would they like to be cremated?


Having the end of life discussion can be hard, stressful, and useful. Just remember making lists can help everyone who is involved during this difficult time.


Date: November 6, 2020