End of Life Planning
End of Life Conversations
Most people think end of life conversations are important, but
few people want to have these discussions. Hesitance is understandable, but it
is unfortunate - because one in four older Americans will face end of life
medical questions without the capacity to decide what should happen. Decision
making is hard on families that have no written guidelines or past conversation
to fall back on. And it's even tougher when more than one person needs to weigh
If given the choice, would your loved one want CPR, a
ventilator, artificial nutrition or hydration? Or would the loved one simply
want to be kept comfortable? Would the answer be the same at age 95 as at age
80? Would it be different if the diagnosis was known to be terminal?
To reduce family pain and support patient choices, the Illinois
HomeCare & Hospice Council encourages families to discuss end of life
decisions and to consider advance directives BEFORE being faced with a medical
Advance Care Planning
Advance care planning involves learning about the types of
decisions that might need to be made, considering those decisions ahead of
time, and then letting others know about your preferences, often by putting
them into an advance directive. An advance directive is a legal document that
goes into effect only if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself.
This could be the result of disease or severe injury-no matter how old you are.
It helps others know what type of medical care you want. It also allows you to
express your values and desires related to end-of-life care.
Advanced Care Planning
Talking to Loved Ones
Talking to Doctors
Where to find Care