Don’t Duck the Conversation

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 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. 

Don’t Duck the Conversation Guide


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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to view the answers.

Can I complete the Don't Duck the Conversation guide online? How do I complete the form?
Do I have to print out the entire document or can I print out just a few pages?
I feel overwhelmed about completing the Don't Duck Guide. Where do I start?
I'm concerned about my privacy. Who has access to my private information? How is my information stored online and for how long?
I'm uncomfortable answering some of the questions in the Life Review section. Do I have to answer every question?
Where do I answer questions related to my medical preferences, such as 'what would make prolonging my life unacceptable for me' or questions like 'who would I like to be with me when I die'?
What's the difference between the SPEAK UP Advance Care Planning Workbook and Hospice Northwest's Don't Duck The Conversation Personal Planning Guide?
Is the Hospice Northwest Don't Duck the Conversation: A Personal Planning Guide a legal document?
There are many additional resources listed in the downloadable version of Don't Duck the Conversation guide. Is there an easy way to access these websites and resources?
Do I need a special program to download and complete the electronic version of the Don't Duck the Conversation guide?

If you have questions that have not been addressed in the FAQ section, please consider submitting a FEEDBACK Form with your questions and comments or feel free to contact us at the Hospice Northwest office at (807)-626-5570. Your questions and comments help us to serve you better. Thank you!