We plan for everything

We make plans for everything.

We make long-term plans - what we want to do when we grow up, where we want to live, and where we want to retire. We make short-term plans - where to go on vacation, what to do on the weekends, and where to eat. We even plan on what we will wear tomorrow.

But we never plan for what we want at the end of our life – our wishes.


We live in a society that is uncomfortable with this topic, but we all know it is a reality we will have to face. It's important that you talk to your loved ones regarding the issues of death and dying. The conversation should provide routine information as well as focus on your desired course of care at the end of your life. Most importantly, let your family know that you have specific wishes and that they are understood by your loved ones and health care providers.

We know this conversation can be difficult for you and your loved ones. That's why we've assembled this toolkit - to help you through this difficult subject. Once you've completed the toolkit, let your loved ones and physician know your wishes.

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tips for getting started

  1. Include all members of your family.
  2. Let them be aware you want them to know your plans in the event of a routine procedure or other health care-related event. Let them know if you have completed a Living Will.
  3. If you have completed a Health Care Power of Attorney or Durable Power of Attorney, inform your loved ones whom you have appointed.
  4. Choose a comfortable environment to discuss everything and allow enough time to have the conversation.
  5. Be very clear with communicating what you desire, as well as what documents you have prepared. Allow time for loved ones to clarify with you what your wishes are and even express disagreement with your choices. Validate your loved ones' feelings while gently reinforcing that it is your decision and your MAP.
  6. Expect there to be distractions during the conversation. It is a difficult topic. Be prepared to get everyone back on track.