"The job is to ask questions-it always was-and to ask them as inexorably as I can. And to face the absence of precise answers with a certain humility."

Arthur Miller

What is Advanced Care Planning?

Advance care planning is making decisions about the healthcare you would want to receive if you happen to become unable to speak for yourself. These are your decisions to make, regardless of what you choose for your care, and the decisions are based on your personal values, preferences, and discussions with your loved ones.


What is a Health Care Agent?

A health care agent is a person you identify to make your health care decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself.

In Washington, a health care agent must act in “good faith” for the other person. “Good faith” means that the health care agent makes decisions that you would want or are in your best interest.


What is a POLST?

POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. A POLST is a medical order which states the individual’s preferences for care. This voluntary form is completed by a doctor with a patient. POLST forms are usually for seriously ill or frail individuals and they travel with the patient from location to location (like home to hospital to a nursing home). The POLST is not intended for healthy adults. To complete a POLST form, it is good to complete an advance directive first to identify wishes and preferences. https://www.honoringchoicespnw.org

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care teams specialize in treating people suffering from the symptoms and stress of serious illnesses such as cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and many more. This type of care treats pain, depression, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and any other symptoms that may be causing distress. https://getpalliativecare.org/whatis/

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. Hospice care services are provided by a team of health care professionals who maximize comfort for a person who is terminally ill by reducing pain and addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/end-of-life/in-depth/hospice-care/art-20048050

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© 2017 by Life Transitions-An End of Life Coalition