Three Questions to Start the Conversation About Healthcare Decisions

Teri Helton, RN, MSN, FCN is a registered nurse, program manager at Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice, and chairs the Ventura County Coalition for Compassionate Care.
Not sure where to start when it comes to talking about advanced healthcare directives, hospice care and other end-of-life issues? Teri Helton is here to help, with these three questions to get the conversation started. When you can answer these questions for yourself or a loved one, you’ll feel more prepared and confident about tackling these issues.
1. If you or your loved one ended up in the hospital and couldn’t communicate, who would do it for you or your loved one? Does this person know your or your loved one’s values and wishes about healthcare and end-of-life decisions?
2. Have you or your loved one talked to anyone about what matters most to you if you end up not being able to make healthcare decisions for yourself?
3. Do you, or does your loved one, have an advanced healthcare directive that puts this information into writing? You can learn about advanced healthcare directives and other resources at the Ventura County Coalition for Compassionate Care website.
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