Conversation Guide

For many of people, beginning a conversation about end of life wishes can be difficult.  The conversations can be emotional and may include topics that have not been discussed as a family before.  Advanced care planning conversation give people control over how they want their life and treatments to progress.  Every person has goals and opinions on end of life care, and it is important to have these conversations so families know how to best support a person and his or her goals.  Having these conversations early (even before someone is sick!) gives family members peace of mind that they are respecting the wishes of their loved one.

The Serious Illness Conversation Guide is helpful for families or medical professionals who would like to begin advanced care planning conversations.  These conversations are all personal and unique, but this guide gives suggestions on how to structure the conversation and ensure that the individual’s wishes are incorporated into his or her care plan.

Serious Illness Conversation Guide


For more information about advanced care planning, please visit:

NHPCO Patients, Families & Caregiver Website– The National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization provides free resources to educate and empower patients and caregivers to make decisions about serious illness and end-of-life care and services.

The Conversation Project– This website has multiple guides and resources to help people share their wishes for care through the end of life.

Advanced Directives Packet– This packet includes Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will forms for the State of Ohio along with FAQs related to Do Not Resuscitate laws, guardianship and more.