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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > March/April 2018 > HOW TO SPEAK ABOUT THE UNSPEAKABLE

HOW TO SPEAK ABOUT THE UNSPEAKABLE

What do you say to a loved one when they don’t have long left?

Life skills

ADRIENNE BETTELEY is a specialist adviser for end-of-life care at Macmillan Cancer Support

Death is an inevitable part of life, yet most of us feel deeply uncomfortable discussing it. So when a loved one gets a life-ending diagnosis, we often don’t know what to say. We asked Macmillan expert Adrienne Betteley for her advice.

Get an understanding

When you learn that a loved one has a terminal diagnosis, it’s easy to either jump to the worst conclusions or convince yourself that it will be OK, but what you need is the truth. ‘If you need more information, ask professionals or organisations who can give you clarity about the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment options, symptoms, care and support available’, says Betteley. ‘Being in the know will help you come to terms with it, and feel prepared and empowered.’

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Banish your blushes with our special taboo takeover issue! Inside, you’ll find our ultimate ‘down there’ care guide – an embarrassment-free zone bursting with honest advice on the issues you’d rather not talk to your doc about. We tackle the mental health stigma and Davina McCall dishes on life post-50: wrinkles, saggy boobs, menopause and all. Plus, how to talk about death, access-all-areas sex therapy and the lowdown on our most embarrassing body part. Find out more in the brand new issue of Healthy!