Making a Bucket List for a Loved One in Assisted Living

When you think of a living will, your initial reaction might be to think about preparing for death. But it’s actually about preparing for life. Creating a Keystone Digital Living Will is about making sure you and your loved ones live the life you want to live, even during your final days of life. It’s the perfect time to consider what’s truly important to your family.

If you’re helping a parent or other family member in assisted living create their digital living will, this isn’t the only document that will help ensure they live their golden days to the fullest. Why not help them make and fulfill a bucket list?

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a loved one, but wouldn’t you prefer knowing they accomplished things that were important to them, found fulfillment, and spent their final days their way?

When encouraging a loved one to create a bucket list, keep these tips in mind:

  • No dream is too big or too crazy. Accept and encourage their wishes without placing any limits on their bucket list.
  • Remember that it’s their bucket list, not yours. They’ll likely have different goals than you would choose for yourself, and that’s okay.
  • After an initial bucket list draft, help them go through and prioritize the easiest goals to accomplish. Starting with early success can help get things off on the right foot and boost optimism.

If your loved one is having trouble coming up with bucket list items, try one or more of these prompts to help get the ideas flowing:

  • What skills do you want to learn?
  • What activities have you always wanted to try?
  • Are there people you’d like to reconnect with?
  • Is there something you always wanted to say to someone?
  • What things in life mean the most to you?
  • Are there any places or countries you really want to visit?

When it comes to travel, experiences like gambling in Las Vegas or an African safari are great bucket list items and often quick to come to mind—but may not be plausible for everyone. For those with limited mobility or other physical restraints, these alternatives also bring a high sense of fulfillment:

  • Taking up a new hobby, like learning to play a musical instrument, painting, or quilting.
  • Attending a class or online course to learn a foreign language, cook a new dish, or other skills.
  • Engage in a random act of kindness, such as donating to a charity or volunteering at a food bank.
  • Reconnect with a family member or contact a childhood friend.

If you know how much your loved one would like to travel to a specific destination—say back to Paris, where they got engaged—why not set the scene, prepare a special meal, and bring Paris to them?

It can be rewarding not only to help your loved one create and fulfill their bucket list but to participate along with them as well. Keep in mind that bucket list adventures won’t always go as planned, but you’re sure to make some special memories together anyway. Be sure to take plenty of pictures and videos so you can cherish these memories forever.

Won’t always go to plan, but you’re sure to make some special memories together. Be sure to take plenty of photos and videos so you can keep these memories forever.

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