How to Begin The Conversation

Photo of daughter and senior woman going over brochure in SpanishTalking to Family, Loved Ones, and Caregivers

A good quality of life starts with a good talk. We can’t predict when a medical emergency or serious illness is going to happen. However, we can prepare ahead for these events by talking about what matters to us with those who matter the most.

Talking with your loved ones about your health care choices can be difficult. But it doesn’t mean that planning and making decisions about future medical care can’t be a positive experience. It is a good opportunity to reflect on the things that are important and to make arrangements that suit you. Don’t wait for a medical crisis; talking now makes it easier to make vital medical decisions when the time comes. It is important to talk to your healthcare professionals, loved ones, and faith leaders about your health care choices.

The resources listed below will provide help and support in having these critical conversations with those who matter most to you.

Ariadne Labs

The Conversation of Your Life (COYL)

The Conversation Project

The Death Deck! game

Death over Dinner game

Hello game

Planning Guide for Families, AARP

Let’s Talk Advance Care Plan Guidebook & Video Series

What Matters to Me resource workbook

Talking to Health Professionals

To put good plans in place, you will need to learn more about your condition and understand what you are facing. Your doctor will work with you to help you understand how your condition will progress. To help you begin the conversation, it is important to ask questions to learn as much as you can. The 4-Step iCare Plan can support you during this discussion. The 4-Step iCare Plan is an individualized, simple, 4-step approach to help you make difficult medical decisions.

4Step iCare Plans (PDF):

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4Step iCarePlan
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