End-of-Life Planning

The statistics are sobering: 82% of people say it’s important to put their end-of-life wishes in writing; 23% have actually done it. 60% of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important”—but 56% have not communicated their end-of-life wishes. 90% of people say they prefer to die at home, yet 70% die in a hospital, nursing home, or long-term care facility.

We need to quit ignoring it, and take charge of our end-of-life wishes. Here are some resources*—forms, questions and information—designed to help.

RESOURCES

  • The Advance Care Planning resource list, compiled by The Conversation Project, has links to a broad array of public resources that can educate you about options and decisions, then help you think through your personal choices.
  • From Aging with Dignity, Five Wishes is a living will written in straightforward language; it can help start and structure important conversations about care in times of serious illness.
  • Best Endings is a website packed with information, links and definitions, this is a great place to get a working understanding of the things you need to consider.
  • The Conversation Project offers a starter kit that walks you through "The Conversation"—with yourself. It helps you think through what is important to you; based on that self-knowledge you can make more informed decisions about your own end-of-life care.
  • Engage with Grace has a single slide; it contains five questions. The point is that most people haven't answered these. The idea is to easily prompt a conversation—and spread the word.
  • For Health Care Proxies/Agents: Making Decisions for Someone Else: A How To Guide, published by American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, can be an aid and comfort to those trying to do the best by someone they love.
  • PREPARE is a website with step-by-step instructions—often illustrated by video interviews—that walk you through the key decisions and actions involved in end-of-life planning.

FORMS

  • The legally approved format for Advanced Directives, also known as a Living Will, varies by state; click the link to download the correct form for your state.
  • A Do Not Resuscitate form tells medical personnel not to use emergency lifesaving techniques, such as CPR and ventilators. It does not prevent general treatment.
  • A bare bones Healthcare Power of Attorney, legal in most states, lets you officially decide who can make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are not able to.

*The forms, links and resources on this page are maintained solely for your convenience. CaringWise does not control and cannot guarantee the content, relevance, timeliness or accuracy of information on these sites. Further, the inclusion of links to particular items is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to constitute approval or endorsement of any views expressed or implied, or products or services offered.