Offering useful resources and advice on hospice care.

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Questions to ask a terminally ill loved one

We are blessed to have our loved ones in our lives and while they are with us, it’s important to make the most of your time together. And although it can be a difficult time, a terminal illness offers you precious time to say “I love you,” to share appreciation and to make amends when necessary.

Have conversations about the things they’ve learned along the way, experiences they’ve had and the memories you have of them. Help them feel important. Remind yourself that this is not about you. You may feel uncomfortable, but your loved one needs you.  Stay focused on the quality of your time together. Ask questions. Share stories. You will treasure these memories for a lifetime.

Below are some questions that may help to get the conversation started:

  1. How did you meet mom/dad?
  2. What was your favorite pet when you were a child?
  3. Where did your parents grow up?
  4. What special memories do you have of your parents and grandparents?
  5. Did you have any hobbies like playing a sport or a musical instrument?
  6. What was your first job?
  7. How did you decide on your career?
  8. If you could have had a different career, what would it be?
  9. Did you have a honeymoon?
  10. What was your favorite family vacation?
  11. What advice would you give your 40-year old self?
  12. When did you know that you wanted to marry mom/dad?
  13. What do you remember most about your wedding day?
  14. What family tradition do you cherish the most?
  15. What are some of your favorite family recipes?

If your loved one has memory loss, don’t worry about the details instead focus on the stories. Beginning with your own stories will often lead your loved one to share stories of their own. Remember, the goal is to make the most of your time together.