Communicating your healthcare wishes with your loved ones is at least as important as completing written advance directives.
How to Start the Conversation
Use the wonderful, free conversation starter kit from the Conversation Project. to find the approach that is most comfortable for you.
Choose a day that’s already designated, like April 16 – National Healthcare Decisions Day or Thanksgiving Day. Watch the NHDD “Imagine” video.
- Play a game like the “Hello” game from Common Practice, to increase everyone’s comfort discussing what matters most to them.
- Blame your attorney. Say that your attorney has told you to talk with your loved one now that you’ve completed or updated your advance directive.
Give Your Loved Ones Access to your Advance Directives
- Use your DocuBank wallet card to get your directives from DocuBank (you can print them from the website) and give them to your health care power of attorney and other loved ones.Or, make a copy from the directives located in your estate planning binder.
- Email your directives to your loved ones from DocuBank.
- Request additional DocuBank card(s) for your loved ones.
- Talk through your choices in these documents, and especially focus on explaining what makes your live enjoyable and worth living..See the Conversation Project starter kit for details..
Give your loved ones a copy of your advance directives. Talk through your choices in these documents, and especially focus on explaining what makes your live enjoyable and worth living. See the Conversation Project Starter Kit for details.
Other Tools for Thinking About and Discussing Healthcare Wishes
Use a workbook approach - Workbooks recommended by the ABA Commission on Law & Aging:
Other Games and Activities
- Hearts2Hearts- A deck of cards with 52 ways to start the conversation about advance care planning and instructions on how to play customized games
- My Way Cards - A set of cards designed to help discuss your preferences and wishes regarding advanced dementia and other terminal conditions.
- Loving Conversations - A video produced by The American Health Lawyers Association that is designed to help foster the dialogue about the intersection of health and law. It can be viewed for free online.