Start the conversation about advance directives

Start the Conversation

In life we prepare for everything… college, marriage, children, retirement.

But we seldom talk about preparing for the end.

What is an advance directive? Click HERE to find out more.

Few people know their end-of-life options and still fewer have discussed their wishes with their doctor and family. Planning for end of life care is as important as all the other life plans people make. Having a plan makes it easier for you, your doctor and your loved ones if, in the future, decisions about treatment need to be made at a time when you are unable to.

It’s a good idea to talk with your doctor and members of your family about what you would want in an advance directive. Having a plan makes it easier for you, your doctor and your loved ones if, in the future, decisions about treatment need to be made at a time when you are unable to.

If you or a loved one are faced with a life-threatening illness, you have some important decisions to make. Others can advise you and express their concerns, but ultimately it is you, and only you, who must decide what course of action to take. Do you want to try anything and everything available, both conventional and unconventional? Or, is your inclination to seek hospice or some other form of palliative care? Or, somewhere in between? The decision is yours. If you are living with a serious or life-threatening illness, knowing your options is an important first step to ensuring your goals and wishes are met. The Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR), covering Bennington and Rutland Counties, encourages you to:

  • Understand your end-of-life care options, including hospice and palliative care.
  • Talk with your family and physicians about your wishes.
  • Contact your VNAHSR social worker or hospice team member 1.800.244.0568 to discuss your end-of-life wishes and help you put your plans in writing.

VNAHSR hospice has materials to help you get started in making decisions and talking to your loved ones about your wishes. Download some of our informational brochures here:

Call 1.800.244.0568, or visit the Start the Conversation website for assistance.

A booklet called “Taking Steps, Planning for Critical Health Care Decisions” gives information about Advance Directives and includes necessary forms. You can get a copy of this booklet from your VNAHSR nurse, therapist or social worker or from the Vermont Ethics Network 1.802.828.2909.