I had the conversation several times with my Dad during his last few years of life. These talks helped me understand what was important to him which helped when we were faced with decisions about his care.
Twice during his last year we were faced with decisions that could have potentially prolonged his life, but with a high risk of living those extra days on dialysis. My dad and I had talked about what his life would be like on dialysis, getting up early three mornings a week to go to dialysis for half the day. My dad liked to stay up late at night and get up at noon. He was grumpy whenever he had to go to doctors appointments, and he had many at that point with all of his specialists. He and I agreed that a dialysis schedule would have severely impacted the way he liked to live. Knowing this made the decision to avoid dialysis much easier.
We knew that what was important to my Dad was his family, being in his home, feeling like he was in control, and enjoying a good meal. This knowledge enabled us to help him live as he wanted to until the end, which is what we remember to this day.