Advance Care Planning: Consumer Resources

In our fragmented health care system, candid conversations among patients, families, and doctors about serious illness and end-of-life preferences are rare. Individuals interested in advance care planning need to be informed about their condition and available treatment options, encouraged to thoughtfully consider their wishes and values, and prompted to communicate their preferences to decisionmakers before a crisis occurs.

Below is a summary of resources to help consumers.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) Decisions
Videos discuss various medical condition(s) and the treatment options available to provide a framework for decisionmaking. The videos are carefully crafted and reviewed by leading experts in medicine, geriatrics, oncology, cardiology, and ethics to ensure that they are easy to understand and neutral toward available options. The videos are provided in several languages.

In the video below, Dr. Angelo Volandes, cofounder and president of ACP Decisions, describes how his educational videos can help patients decide their treatment goals, discuss their wishes with doctors and family, and ultimately receive the type of care they want.


Consumer’s Toolkit for Health Care Advance Planning
This toolkit contains a variety of self-help worksheets, suggestions, and resources, each clearly labeled and user-friendly. The guides help individuals discover, clarify, and communicate what is important to them in the face of serious illness. (The American Bar Association)

Multi-State Power of Attorney for Health Care
This simple form allows patients to appoint another person to make health care decisions if they become too ill or injured to communicate. (The American Bar Association)

Prepare for Your Care
The PREPARE website helps patients and their loved ones prepare for medical decisionmaking. Through videos and narration, people are encouraged to complete five steps that cover every aspect of advance care planning. The website is available in English and Spanish.

Wise Conversations Planner
This personal workbook includes practical worksheets to help individuals identify their medical, spiritual, and financial values, communicate their wishes to loved ones, and document their decisions. (DeathWise)

Conversation Starter Kit
Two kits help people talk with their families and doctors to develop a shared understanding of what matters most so that it is easier to make decisions when the time comes. Both kits are available in multiple languages. (The Conversation Project)

Online Caregiver Resources
This web portal offers a range of free materials for family caregivers, including information to help individuals and their loved ones get not only the best health care, but also the best quality of life. (Consumer Reports Health)

Advance Care Planning Resources
This comprehensive list of tools to help encourage people to talk to their loved ones now about their wishes for medical care and treatment in the event that they are unable to speak for themselves. (Coalition for Compassionate Care of California)

TrueNorth TruePlan
This platform helps patients choose an advocate and notify family and friends of that election through Facebook. (TrueNorth)

Easy to Read Advance Directive for California
This form, available in multiple languages, enables people to state their health care preferences. (Institute for Healthcare Advancement)