The purpose of advance care planning is to establish goals for medical treatment and supportive care when facing serious illness or decline. Best outcomes are achieved when personal values and medical realities help inform and guide the process. The completion of advance directives – coupled with meaningful conversations with family members, health care providers and spiritual advisors – are essential for success. Helpful tools and resources follow.

On Our Own Terms – Bill Moyers on Dying

The On Our Own Terms website (associated with the PBS Bill Moyers video series on Death and Dying) offers excellent resources for discussion about death and dying. The On Our Own Terms Discussion Guide can be accessed via the Resources tab and downloaded. This discussion guide is an invaluable resource. Visit Talk About It (Moyers/On Our Own Terms Forums) ... Read More

Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a document to help ensure that a patient’s wishes are known and honored toward the end of life. It uses a standardized medical order used to indicate which types of life-sustaining treatment a seriously ill patient wants or doesn’t want if his or her condition worsens. POLST assists health care providers and patients or their surrogate to develop a transferable care plan of desired interventions when dealing with serious, life-limiting ... Read More

Prehospital Do Not Resuscitate Form & Information

This form was developed by the CA Emergency Medical Services Authority, in concert with the CA Medical Association and emergency medical services (EMS) providers, for purposes of instructing EMS personnel to forego resuscitation attempts in the event of a patient's cardiopulmonary arrest. This form orders that no medical procedure be done to restart breathing or heart functioning if the heart stops beating or a person stops breathing. This form does not prevent a person from obtaining other emergency ... Read More

PREPARE for Your Care

PREPARE. Launched 1/4/13 by UCSF, PREPARE  assists people to think through how health care decisions would be made if a person is unable or unwilling to guide their own health care.  It is user friendly, written to 5th grade level for ease of use, has helpful videos and a narrator for every aspect of advance care planning one should address.   Five steps help think this through in a most helpful manner and empower action needed to have a good plan in place. The objective of this innovative approach ... Read More

Promises to Keep: Changing the Way we Provider Care at the End of Life

Promises to Keep: Changing the Way We Provide Care at the End of Life published by the National Coalition on Health Care and The Institute for Healthcare Improvement in October, 2000. This report presents the stories of institutions and organizations that made a commitment to change and innovation to improve care at the end of life. The profiles presented in this report reflect some of the most promising pioneering efforts underway in the field of palliative care. RAND’s Center to Improve Care ... Read More

Redwood Caregiver Resource Center

The Redwood Caregiver Resource Center (RCRC) is one of several Caregiver Resource Centers throughout California serving people with head trauma injury, dementia, Parkinson's and other brain impairment illnesses. The RCRC is located at 141 Stony Circle, Suite 200, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 and provides services to the north coast region including Solano, Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Mendocino and Humboldt counties. Toll Free 800-834-1636. Visit Redwood Caregiver Resource Center ... Read More

Reluctant Realism – Latino Perspective on End of Life Issues

Reluctant Realism by Margaret R. McLean and Margaret A. Graham published in Issues in Ethics, Winter, 2003 Volume 14, Number 1, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University pp. 7-9. To assist in the goal of improving the Latino health care experience in the San Jose community, 66 adults agreed to participate in a series of three focus group sessions that explored their attitudes and concerns regarding end-of-life care. This article presents their views of death and dying, their ... Read More

Respecting Choices

Respecting Choices is a model training program for facilitators who become resident experts in Advance Care Planning at health facilities and has a strong focus on organizational policy. The goal of the program is to build respect for choices into each organization's policies. A variety of posters, workbooks and planning guides are available in English and Spanish for work with consumers. The program was developed by the Gunderson Lutheran Medical Foundation (LaCrosse,Wis) in the early 1990s. It ... Read More

Supportive Care Coalition

Formed in 1994 as Supportive Care of the Dying by six visionary Catholic health care organizations, Supportive Care Coalition: Pursuing Excellence in Palliative Care, has grown to 23 member organizations with health care facilities nationwide. In 2006, the name was changed to better reflect Coalition palliative care activities that address the continuum of living with life-limiting illness from time of diagnosis to end of life. The coalition is dedicated to promoting cultural change that embraces ... Read More

Taking Care: Ethical Caregiving in our Aging Society

TAKING CARE: ETHICAL CAREGIVING IN OUR AGING SOCIETY published by The President’s Council on Bioethics Washington, D.C., September 2005 Preface The President’s Council on Bioethics was created by President George W. Bush on November 28, 2001 to advise the President on bioethical issues related to advances in biomedical science and technology. Taking Care addresses the ethical challenges of caregiving in our rapidly aging society, with special attention to the care of people with dementia. ... Read More