It’s one of the most important talks you’ll ever have.
We plan life events all the time: birthday parties, family vacations, going to college, choosing to raise a family. But what about planning for our death? While most people say that talking with their loved ones about their end-of-life care is important, few people have actually done so.
Being prepared and discussing our end-of-life wishes in advance can give ourselves, our loved ones and our health care team a sense of peace. We can feel comforted knowing we are more likely to have our wishes followed, we will have a better quality of life and death and our loved ones will have less stress and anxiety during an already difficult time.
Discussing our end-of-life care wishes, or someone else’s wishes, is a conversation that takes place over time. Hospice Northwest has created the Don’t Duck The Conversation: A Personal Planning Guide to help you begin the conversation. The guide has been designed for you to complete at your own pace. This way, you can sort out one duck at a time, at a pace that feels comfortable and manageable for you.
Don’t Duck The Conversation: A Personal Planning Guide
Hospice Northwest’s Don’t Duck the Conversation Guide is one important step in an overall Advance Care Planning process. The guide provides questions – both factual and contemplative – to help you think about, record, and discuss important personal information, including:
- Special memories you would like to record or share
- Important dates you would like your family to remember
- Information about your children’s unique preferences, habits & health concerns
- Instructions on how to deal with the care of your pets
- Important legal and financial information and where you’ve stored it
- Memoirs or messages written to your loved ones
- Instructions on how to write a eulogy, obituary, or epitaph
- Information about your funeral or memorial service arrangements
Important questions pertaining to your medical preferences, identifying your substitute decision maker and other questions related to your wishes for your personal care at end of life are addressed in the Speak Up Advance Care Planning Guide, published by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. We highly recommend that you complete this guide.
We also suggest that you consult A Guide to Advance Care Planning, developed by the Government of Ontario that helps you know and exercise your rights in preparing for a time when you may be unable to make decisions about your care.
The Don’t Duck the Conversation Guide is available in two formats – an electronic version that you can download and save to your own computer, and a paper copy which can be picked up at our office at 63 Carrie Street or mailed to you. The guide is free, but we will require you to pay for the cost of postage for copies that are mailed to you. Please contact Kathleen at (807) 626-5570, ext. 5573 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request a copy.
The electronic version of the Don’t Duck the Conversation Personal Planning Guide is now available!
You can either download the entire guide or save it in sections. To download the complete guide, click the button below.
There may be parts of the guide you don’t wish to complete, so we’ve also divided it into separate sections. Just click on the links below and save each section to your computer so you can fill them out at your own pace.
- Section 1. Getting Started
- Section 2. All About Me, My Personal Information
- Section 3: My Story, The Facts
- Section 4: Caring for My Family and Friends
- Section 5: My After Death Arrangements, Choosing a Funeral or Memorial Service
- Section 6: Sharing My Story
- Section 7: Next Step – Having the Conversation
- Section 8: Resources and References
Frequently Asked Questions
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