What We Do at End of Life Choices California

End of Life Choices California offers
trained Client Volunteers to work with
Californians who are seriously or
terminally ill, or those simply thinking
ahead and planning for the future.

What We Do: Our Commitment

What We Do: We Provide
Compassionate End-of-Life Support

It’s more than what we do, it is also what we stand for. At End of Life Choices California (EOLCCA), we are deeply committed to empowering individuals and families with the knowledge and support needed during one of life’s most challenging transitions. Understanding that each journey is unique, we offer personalized guidance to ensure that all Californians can approach the end of their lives with dignity, autonomy, and peace.

Through the dedication of our trained Client Volunteers, we provide a comprehensive suite of services designed to navigate the complexities of end-of-life planning and decision-making. Our approach is grounded in empathy, respect for personal choices, and a commitment to informed decision-making. Whether it’s through direct support or facilitating crucial conversations within families, our goal is to make the process of end-of-life planning as clear and peaceful as possible.

In a society where talking about end-of-life care often remains a taboo, EOLCCA stands as a guiding light, offering resources, education, and support to demystify the processes involved. From explaining legal rights under the California End of Life Option Act to supporting bereavement groups, we are here to ensure that every Californian has access to compassionate and dignified end-of-life care.

What We Do: We help with Informed decisions about Advance Care Planning

What We Do: We help you make an informed decision

Our volunteers give their time at no cost to you and provide general and specific information along with personal support to people who are facing end-of-life planning and decision-making. We provide information and support regarding end-of-life choices and options. Our goal is to help facilitate choices that reflect the wishes and values of the person living with the disease. We believe that if individuals do not have complete information about the pros and cons of various end-of-life options, they will not be able to advocate for themselves and make an informed decision.

EOLCCA volunteers

Effective communication

Our amazing volunteers can help with effective ways to communicate with health care providers, as well as members of their own families who may have difficulty accepting the patient’s end-of-life choices.

We can help you learn more

Our goal is to help ensure that people are able to receive the information and support they need to advocate for and experience the death they wish. To request volunteer support, please fill out our online form.

Request Volunteer Support

We help people navigate through their death process, from beginning to end.  Sometimes this takes days, sometimes weeks or months: sometimes 1-2 meetings, sometimes many more.

Access to the law

Medicine still has a long way to go in meeting the needs of patients at the end of life, ensuring to the best of their ability, a peaceful and pain-free death consistent with the patient’s values and wishes. Thankfully, California passed the End of Life Option Act, also known as medical aid in dying. However, we still find that most people facing end of life decisions do not know of the law or all their options and therefore are unable to make educated, informed end-of-life decisions. Our mission is to help ensure that all Californians who are eligible for the law are able to access the law if they wish. Learn more

Bereavement Groups

Navigating Grief After Medical Aid in Dying

Losing someone we love is always painful: losing someone who has used Medical Aid in Dying is a different and special journey. In response to the many requests we have had for a MAiD grief support group, we are happy to be able to offer this to you.

What We Do - Learn About Your End of Life Options

What We Do: Our volunteers provide these services:  

  • Thoroughly explain all the different options for dying well and how to achieve them; including stopping life-preserving  medical treatments, seeking palliative care, entering hospice, voluntary stopping eating and drinking with the support of hospice, palliative sedation, and medical aid in dying.
  • Help people navigate through their dying process, from beginning to end.  Sometimes this takes days, sometimes weeks or months: sometimes 1-2 meetings, sometimes many more.
  • Offer support for clients or their families to advocate for themselves if their wishes are not being met or who are not getting adequate pain or symptom management.
  • Meet with families to help facilitate discussions about the client’s end-of-life wishes.
  • Provide information and support to family members regarding the process of their loved one’s dying, what to expect and how they can best provide compassionate and helpful support.
  • Provide support and reassurance to the client as he/she navigates through the process of accessing medical aid in dying and encouraging the client/family to advocate for themselves. We also help the client find physicians and hospices willing to prescribe and encourage their having conversations with physicians or hospice to help them obtain needed services or adequate pain control.
  • Bring an experienced, calm, and reassuring presence on the day of planned death. We also help review instructions and provide bedside support and comfort to both the client and family.
  • Assist in completing or understanding advance directives.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About What We Do

What services does EOLCCA offer?

EOLCCA provides comprehensive end-of-life support, including guidance on legal options, one-on-one volunteer support, and assistance with advance care planning.

How can I access support from EOLCCA?

To access our support services, you can contact us directly through our website or phone. A trained Client Volunteer will then assist you based on your specific needs.

Is there a cost for EOLCCA's services?

No, our services are offered at no charge, thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers and the generosity of donors like you.

Can EOLCCA help with discussions about end-of-life planning?

Yes, our volunteers can facilitate discussions about end-of-life wishes with individuals, families, and healthcare providers to ensure clear communication and understanding.

How does EOLCCA support healthcare professionals?

We offer resources and training for healthcare professionals to enhance their understanding of end-of-life care options and patient support.

What kind of training do EOLCCA volunteers receive?

Our volunteers undergo comprehensive training on end-of-life care options, legal rights, and communication skills to effectively support clients and their families.

How can I volunteer with EOLCCA?

Those interested in volunteering can apply through our website. We welcome individuals who are compassionate and committed to supporting others through end-of-life care planning.

Does EOLCCA offer support for all Californians?

Yes, our mission is to provide support and information to any Californian facing end-of-life decisions, regardless of their location within the state.

Can EOLCCA assist with medical aid in dying (MAID)?

We provide information and support for individuals considering Medical Aid in Dying, or “MAID,” including navigating legal requirements and understanding the process.

How does EOLCCA handle privacy and confidentiality?

We uphold the highest standards of privacy and confidentiality for all individuals and families we support, respecting their wishes and information. We do not share our client information. Contact us for more specific concerns.

Where can I find more information about end-of-life options?

Our website offers a wealth of resources and articles on end-of-life planning, legal options, and personal stories to help guide your decisions.

How is EOLCCA funded?

EOLCCA is supported by donations from individuals and grants from foundations. We rely on the generosity of our community to continue our work. Here’s how to donate.

Further Reading and Additional Resources

  • Five Wishes

    A comprehensive guide to discussing and documenting your care and comfort choices. Visit Five Wishes.

  • The National POLST Paradigm

    Learn how POLST forms help ensure your treatment wishes are honored. Learn about POLST.

  • CaringInfo

    Free resources for making informed decisions about end-of-life care and services. Explore CaringInfo.

  • Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC)

    Improving the availability of quality palliative care for serious illnesses. Visit CAPC.

  • Aging with Dignity

    Practical information and resources for planning healthcare in advance. Aging with Dignity.

  • BJ Miller: What really matters at the end of life

    In this moving talk, palliative care physician BJ Miller shares insights on dignified end-of-life care. Watch BJ Miller’s Talk.

  • Judy MacDonald Johnston: Prepare for a good end of life

    Judy MacDonald Johnston offers practical advice on preparing for a dignified end of life. Watch Judy MacDonald Johnston’s Talk.

Feeling overwhelmed?

We are here to help.  Our highly-trained volunteers are available to explain the current California law in detail and walk you and your family through the process from beginning to end.  

“We found your presentation very useful and informative for our situation. My husband was diagnosed with glioblastoma a few months ago. And we will pursue it with his doctors.” J. and S.

End of life choices California


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