Module summary


I’m really not much of a talker, but I wanted Faye to know how much I appreciated and loved her. It was hard but important to me she knew.

Some of the key points covered in this module include:

  • Good communication is essential in caregiving situations.
  • In conversations with people who are seriously ill, follow their lead; the most important thing is whatever they need.
  • People who are dying often feel respected and supported by openness and honesty in conversations.
  • Communicating tough news is often challenging for a caregiver. It’s important to get support.
  • Expressing ourselves to one another can help keep bad feelings from festering, and going through tough times together can help family members feel more connected to one another.
  • It is important to have a conversation with the person who is ill to confirm what they want or to establish other arrangements.
  • It may be challenging or uncomfortable to talk with the person who is ill about their wishes for future care and other difficult subjects such as planning funerals and estates. However, these discussions are critical to ensuring their wishes are known so that the family can make decisions based on this.
  • Telling children about a serious illness lets them know that it is okay to ask questions.
  • Time is limited in healthcare appointments and visits, so make the most of your time by being organized. For example, be proactive, and make lists of your questions and your current medications.