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.

Talking Things Over Discussion Guide

This workbook is designed for lay discussion leadeers.  The guide proves the format and excercises for 3 sessions that give people ideas for thinking and talking about their wishes. It is published by Sacramento Healthcare Decisions, a longstanding leader in end of life care issues. This is now out of print and so may be downloaded and printed at no charge. It is available in English, Spanish and Tagalog. When visiting the publications section on this site click on End-of-Life Educational Materials ... Read More

The Conversation Project

The Conversation Project (TCP) began in 2010, when Ellen Goodman and a group of colleagues and concerned media, clergy, and medical professionals gathered to share stories of “good deaths” and “bad deaths” within their own circle of loved ones. TCP is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. This effort - among many others - is helping to  transform our culture so we shift from not  talking about dying to talking about it. Too many people are dying in ... Read More

Thinking Ahead: My Way, My Choice, My Life at the End

This advance care planning workbook was designed by and for people with developmental disabilities to enable them to do their own advance care planning. A DVD video is also available and may be previewed online. This project was created by the California Coalition for Compassionate Care, the Board Resource Center and Mark Starford who has extensive experience and expertise in adapting complex information for persons with developmental disabilities. This is also a great resource to use when working ... Read More

Time to address the need to improve end of life care by Susan Keller

Susan Keller, Executive Director of the Community Network, wrote this piece at the request of the Press Democrat for the Close to Home feature in the Sunday edition. The aim was to help inform the community given all the rhetoric at the national level about "death panels" with regards to national health care reform. This essay was published online Sept 19, 2009 and in the Sunday print edition Sept 20, 2009. Includes photo of Susan Keller. Visit Time to address the need to improve end of life care ... Read More