Community Conversations: Sister to Sister not only aims to foster open and honest dialogue between key stakeholders in the health of black women and their families in Cambridge. As a women's health initiative, we also aim to improve the health literacy of our conversation participants, thereby empowering them to utilize provided information and make appropriate decisions. In the coming weeks we will provide links to useful tools and resources on various topics related to health and healthcare.
Advance care planning is making decisions about the care 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.
If you are in an accident or have an illness that leaves you unable to talk about your wishes, who will speak for you? You can tell your family, friends and healthcare providers what your wishes and personal beliefs are about continuing or withdrawing medical treatments at the end of life.
Advance care planning includes:
Getting information on the types of life-sustaining treatments that are available.
Deciding what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
Sharing your personal values with your loved ones.
Completing advance directives to put into writing what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be unable to speak for yourself
Think about what kind of treatment you do or do not want in a medical emergency. It might help to talk with your doctor about how your present health conditions might influence your health in the future.
Decide if you want a healthcare proxy, someone like a family member or friend who can have authority over a wide range of decisions or a few specific ones in your medical care.
Make your wishes known and official with an advance directive that includes a living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare.
Give copies of your advance directive to your healthcare proxy and doctor, and review your advance care planning decisions from time to time.
Source: National Institue on Aging. For more information,
Source: Caring Connections
Source: American Medical Association
to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning
resources to help you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself.
\ planning guide for adolescents and young adults to help young people living with a serious illness to communicate their preferences to friends, family and caregivers.