Planning Ahead

End-of-life care isn't an easy topic, but it's an important one. These resources will help you address and document your loved one’s wishes and provide information on palliative and hospice care.

Planning Ahead Resources

Category: Information & Resources

Aging With Dignity

Aging with Dignity is a trusted source of information regarding end-of-life care and provides helpful tools and documents that can help in your planning process.

Click here to visit Aging with Dignity

Five Wishes

Five Wishes was created by Aging with Dignity and is the most widely used advanced directive or living will in the country. Contact Member Services or visit the Aging with Dignity site for other language options. 

Click here to request a copy of Five Wishes

My Directives

MyDirectives is an online form that lets you list your end-of-life wishes and save your document online, so doctors and hospitals can find it easily.

Spanish (NIH)

What to do with your Advance Directives:

  1. Keep the original copies of your advance directives where you can easily find them.
  2. Give a copy to your health care proxy, health care providers, hospital, nursing home, family, and friends.
  3. Carry a card in your wallet that says you have an advance directive.
  4. Review your advance directives each year.

Hospice Care Benefits

Medicare Hospice Benefits

This document provides more information about what hospice care is and how the Medicare hospice benefits work.


5 Things to Know about Medicare Hospice Benefits

This flyer explains how Medicare covers hospice services.


Medicare Hospice Benefit PDF

The official comprehensive government booklet.

Esta publicación está disponible en Español. Para obtener una copia, llame al 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

You and your doctor can use this form, available from the California Department of Public Health, to document your wishes for end-of-life care. Visit this site to learn more about how the POLST can prevent unwanted or ineffective treatments, reduce patient and family suffering, and help assure that those who suffer from serious illnesses or frailty will have their preferences for treatment honored. Form is available in multiple languages.

POLST- English
POLST- Spanish

Visit POLST California for instructions on how to fill out and submit form in other languages.

The Conversation Project

The Conversation Project is dedicated to making it easier for loved ones to discuss end-of-life care earlier. Find helpful tips and resources to help share the way you want to live at the end of life and communicate about the kind of care you want and don’t want for yourself. Visit the site to view and download Conversation Project starter kits available in multiple languages.

The Conversation Project

Other Helpful Resources

Guide for Families and Friends of People with Medicare

¿Necesita una copia en español? Llame GRATIS al 1‑800‑MEDICARE (1-800-633‑4227)

Advanced Care Planning: Tips from the National Institute of Aging PDF

Advanced Care Planning for People with Alzheimer’s Disease 


California Advocates for Nursing Care Reform:

A nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to improving the choices, care and quality of life for California’s long term care consumers.


The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA):

Non-profit association dedicated to improving the quality of legal services provided to people as they age and people with special needs.

Helpful Tip:

Contact your local senior center to find out about any available free or discounted legal services that may be offered.
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