COLORADO SPRINGS — As people age, they are met with plenty of probing questions and examinations which can sometimes be uncomfortable. For some, according to Home Instead, an at-home senior care organization, the most uncomfortable exam may actually be a critical conversation between older adults and loved ones about end-of-life plans. In fact, 1 in 6 Americans would rather have a colonoscopy than make these tough decisions and document wishes. 

“They don’t want to worry their loved ones. They are afraid of suggesting the wrong thing. They’re saying that the time is not right,” said Home Instead client care coordinator, Kelly Murphy.

An “elderoscopy” is what Home Instead calls an end-of-life conversation, or a talk about future plans as an older family member ages.

“We want the families to ask and answer all of those hard questions to prepare for the future,” Murphy said. “So… their family members, living choices, financial choices…”

The problem is, Home Instead said, many people wait until the last minute before determining these important things.

“It could absolutely affect your loved one’s health and it absolutely could cause some turmoil,” Murphy said. “You know, the family members don’t know what their parents wish for. So if there’s multiple siblings, they might want to do three different things.”

So, Home Instead is trying to ease the discomfort by offering resources to people preparing for these topics.

“It is called 40-70. It’s, you know, us 40-some-year-olds trying to start thinking about our 70-year-old parents. And it is a wonderful guide that gives you conversation starters for all of those tough questions.”

But sometimes, the hardest part is getting the talk started.

“The best way is just Mom, Dad, let’s have a sit down conversation. I want to make sure I know your future plans. I want to make sure that, you know, I make the decisions that you want and I don’t want to make any wrong decisions,” Murphy said.

And, just like with a colonoscopy or an endoscopy or any other medical treatment, Murphy said the worst thing you can do is wait.

“The time is now,” she said. “We want to know those answers. We want to know how our loved ones foresee the future.”

You can find the aforementioned guide by following this link here.