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Conversations with your Family and Agent

Thinking about your life and what matters to you is often a good starting point for thinking about how you would like to live if you were seriously ill or at the end of life and unable to speak for yourself.  You can begin by thinking about how you would finish sentences such as:

  • The most important thing to me is…
  • I cannot imagine living without [or would not want to live without]…

As you are deciding about your care preferences, have conversations with your family and health care agent and let them know about your choices.  Starting the conversation is not always easy.  Some people simply begin with:  “I have been thinking about how life ended for [a friend, relative, a person in the news] and I want you to know what I would want in that situation.” 

Talk about what you want in general as well as what you would want in different situations.  All possible situations cannot be covered, but your examples will give your family and health care agent a good sense of your goals of care and an idea what good end-of-life care means to you.

Issues many people find important to their quality of life.

Keep having these conversations.  The more you talk about your wishes for end of life care, the more it will become clear to your family and health care agent what is really important to you.

Helpful tools for starting the conversation and moving it along:

Print version of Helpful Conversation Tools