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Tools to Manage End-of-Life Care

Step 1: Assess what is important to you; speak with loved ones.

Share these preferences before a medical crisis. It will help ensure you get the care you want – and only the care you want.

The  My End-of-Life Decisions guide is an excellent starting points. It provides ideas, inspiration and information on thorough, effective end-of-life preparation. Many of the links below come directly from the My End-of-Life Decisions guide.

Use these tools:

Your Life, Your Priorities is a C&C booklet to help you and your loved ones clarify and honor your values and priorities.

Values Worksheet offers questions to consider when making decisions and preparing documents concerning healthcare preferences.

My Particular Wishes informs your physician, nurse or other care provider of your consent or refusal of certain specific therapies.

End-of-Life Options: Care and Choice at the End-of-Life provides information about the full range of choices.

Step 2: Put your plan together

An advance directive is an important set of documents that outline end-of-life priorities. It includes:

  • living will (“what I want”)
  • medical durable power of attorney (“who will speak for me”)

A lawyer is not required to fill out an advance directive. In most states, one simply needs to sign in front of the required witnesses.

Everyone over 18 should have an advance directive. It provides peace of mind by explaining what healthcare people would prefer if they become severely injured or terminally ill. Keep your advance directive in an easily accessible place, and let loved ones know where it is. Sharing preferences before a medical crisis will help ensure you to get the care you want.

Use the menu below to select your state.

Already completed an advance directive? Good! Make it a habit to review these materials periodically to ensure the forms are current and that they still reflect your preferences.

Consider these other forms to supplement your advance directive.

Dementia Provision a C&C exclusive, adds language to an advance directive advising physicians and family of your wishes should you be unable to direct your care due to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Sectarian Healthcare Directive is an addendum to clarify that your wishes supersede those of any institution’s religious policies, and that you wish to be transferred if any facility refuses to follow the preferences you’ve outlined in your advance directive.

Hospital Visitation Form gives unmarried couples hospital visitation authorization.

Assisted Living Facility (ALF) Rider is a contract rider for people who live in assisted-living facilities and would like to stay there until they die. This will ensure an individual’s home is suited to their choices.

Read about what a DNR and a POLST can do for you. Visit the national POLST website.

Step 3: Take charge of your healthcare

Letter to My Doctor helps communicate end-of-life wishes to physicians. Patients can make sure their doctor knows and will respect their wishes before it is too late.

Doc2Doc Consultation a handout to let a physician know about C&C’s Doc2Doc service, a resource for doctors with terminally ill patients.

Patient Notebook is a comprehensive tool for people who are experiencing medical difficulties to communicate with their families and caregivers about care, prescriptions, appointments and more.

Medicare update about Medicare reimbursing doctors for 30 minutes of advance care planning with patients.

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Your End-of-Life Options recognizes the importance of your medical providers understanding your priorities and values, and being willing to provide the level of care you desire. By explaining your preferences early, you are more likely to have an end-of-life experience consistent with your values.

How to Interview a Hospice offers tips on choosing between hospices. Many communities have numerous hospice providers, so it’s important to interview and select a hospice that respects your priorities and beliefs, and will honor your end-of-life care choices.

Understanding your End-of-Life Options visit for detailed handouts on the range of end-of-life options.

Understanding Medical Aid-in-Dying visit for more information on medical aid in dying.

Getting the End-of-Life Care You Want a patient’s guide to personal advocacy with doctors, healthcare systems and hospice.

Tell Us Your Story allows you to share your experience with others. Have you had an end-of-life conversation with your loved ones? Did a loved one have the conversation with you? We’d love to hear about it. Share with us.