Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning is a process that enables individuals to make plans about their future health care. Advance care plans provide direction to healthcare providers (HCP) when a person is not in a position to make and/or communicate their own healthcare choices. Advance care planning is applicable to adults at all stages of life. Participation in advance care planning has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety for patients and their families, and lead to improvements in end of life care.

To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. 

J.K. Rowling

Having the Conversation

One of the most productive ways to help patients as they approach the end of life is to encourage them to have a conversation with their loved ones about their preferences for treatment and end-of-life wishes. This conversation should include family members, friends, HCPs, and religious or spiritual leaders—anyone in the patient’s life and involved with their care. In addition to promoting this conversation, you can enable it.  FOR MORE

Talking to Your Family and Loved Ones

Direct Questions: What’s most important to you as you think about how you want to live at the end of your life? What do you value most? Thinking about this will help you get ready to have…  READ MORE

Talking to Your Physician

Even if you are young and healthy, it is important to have an advance care planning conversation with your physician. If you are over age 65 and/or you have a serious chronic illness,   READ MORE

Advance Directives

Every adult needs an advance directive for health care (AD). Regardless of age and health status, we never know when some kind of an event might leave us unable to speak for ourselves. If people are not able to make or communicate decisions about their desired medical care, a written record of their health care wishes is invaluable. This includes both living wills and durable power of attorney…   FOR MORE

Living Will

This part of the Advance Directive allows you to specify which kinds of treatment and care you desire if you are unable to speak for yourself. A living will allows you to express … LEARN MORE

Durable Power of Attorney

The second part of the Advance Directive, is often referred to as the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. It provides the designation of someone who will be able …  LEARN MORE

POLST in California

In some states, it is also known as a MOLST (Medical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment). The POLST is designed to help medical professionals honor the end-of-life wishes of their patients. The form documents physician orders that adhere to the patient’s wishes and treatment goals and are readily accessible to emergency medical personnel, assisted living facility staff and other caregivers. They follow a patient from home, to emergency services, and to a hospital or other facility. Not all states have POLST programs in place.  FOR MORE

Out-of-hospital DNR

DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) In 2015, the Institute of Medicine (22 Sep 2017 Journal of the American Heart Association. 2017;6) noted survival of <6% when cardiac arrest occurs outside the hospital and only 24% when cardiac arrest occurs inside the hospital.  California does use the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) that tells emergency medical services (EMS) personnel not to attempt resuscitation… FOR MORE

Dementia Provisions

A Living Will for Dementia. Since being featured in the NY Times, it has been downloaded more than 100,000 times, with downloads continuing at a rate of about 2,000 per month. It provides brief descriptions of the stages of dementia. Under each stage it provides options where you can indicate which medical interventions you’d want at that stage. The dementia directive is a communication tool…. FOR MORE

Contact a Volunteer

If you have questions, would like to discuss advance care planning further, or need help preparing your advance directives, please contact us.  A volunteer will follow up with you to find out how we can assist.

“Thank you for the workshop and your work in end of life care. I hope this contribution helps the cause.” C.H.