Take Charge Toolkit

Talk about your wishes with your family, friends, and doctor.

Now you are ready to share your thoughts and wishes with those who need to know:

  • Family and friends – those closest to you
  • Your doctor
  • Anyone who is likely to be involved in your future health care decisions

It’s easy to avoid these conversations. They can be hard to start. We may be afraid of how family or loved ones might think or react. But having these conversations will bring relief to you AND those who care for you.

Join Dr. Zitter and her son Sol as they talk about death and dying at a Mission Hospice & Home Care community event earlier this year:

Here are a couple of ways to get started:

“Do you remember what happened to Uncle Tony and his family when he was sick? I don’t want you to have to go through that with me. That’s why I want to talk about these issues now.”

“I went to a workshop where they suggested that everyone should talk about their wishes and document them. Can we do that so you know what I’d want you to do?”

Here are two resources that can help you with this step:

  • The Conversation Starter Kit. This friendly guide offers some simple questions to consider, and provides examples of how you might begin discussing these issues. For more information: http://theconversationproject.org
  • The Stanford Letter Project. This offers tools to help you write a simple letter about what matters most to you so you can share this information with your doctor and your loved ones.

It is important to remember that these are things you will probably discuss more than once. The more you talk about what matters most to you – your wishes for your own care – the easier it gets. So keep talking.

In Step 3, you’ll identify someone who can help see that your wishes are followed. Or, return to Step 1 to think more about what matters most to you.