Written By: Sarah Caine, RP

I wrote a blog entry a few years ago called “Difficult Decisions” which focused on the importance of talking to your family about estate planning issues – both yours and theirs – before a crisis occurs. Around that time, I found a great resource called The Conversation Project.

The Conversation Project operates in conjunction with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Their goal is to help people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. This serves a dual purpose: it encourages people to think about the terms on which they want to end their lives when the time comes and provides them with tools to talk to their family and friends about their vision. At the same time, knowing a loved one’s wishes for end of life care helps family and friends that may need to make or implement decisions on their loved one’s behalf.

I’ve been thinking about this again, and I went back online to The Conversation Project’s website. I was pleased to see that they have expanded their materials substantially, and they now offer five starter kits:

• Conversation Starter Kit

• How to Choose a Health Care Proxy & How to Be a Health Care Proxy

• Conversation Starter Kit for Families and Loved Ones of People with Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Forms of Dementia

• How To Talk To Your Doctor

• Pediatric Starter Kit: Having the Conversation with Your Seriously Ill Child

If you have not yet visited The Conversation Project’s website, I highly recommend that you do.