Finding Your Way: A Guide for Medical Decisions Near the End of Life is a 13-page booklet available in English and Spanish
that was developed in response to the concerns of healthcare professionals and consumers that:
- Many people never think about their own views and values regarding end-of-life decisions until a crisis hits--when decision-making is most difficult.
- Healthcare professionals themselves often have difficulty initiating discussions about end-of-life decisions with their patients--and there are few tools available that provide a gentle but direct way for introducing this topic.
- There is an abundance of material about advance directives, but for some people completing a legal document may not be the place to start.
Since it was published in 1998,more than 350,000 copies of Finding Your Way have been requested
by healthcare and community organizations, and indiviuals and their family members.
Dozens of healthcare organizations in 39 states have ordered the booklet. CalPERS purchased 50,000 copies for its members, and the California
Department of Health Services ordered 150,000 copies for distribution to nursing homes in the state.
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about Finding Your Way.
Physicians, social workers, nurses, chaplains and other caregivers are using Finding Your Way:
They are distributing the booklet:
- With high-risk patients or those who understand they have a potentially terminal diagnosis.
- For family members who may be facing difficult decisions for a loved one.
- To orient healthcare personnel in their role of counseling others on end-of-life decisions.
- For patients or health plan members as part of a basic package of educational material.
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- Through hospital patient/health education departments.
- At advance directives workshops or consumer health fairs.
- In brochure racks in physician/hospital examination or waiting rooms.
- In skilled nursing facilities for residents and family members, other residential care settings, or through community or home-based programs.