Conversation Tools

Conversation Guide

Conversation Guide

This guide offers suggestions on how to raise the issue of advance care planning, responses to concerns your loved one might express, and questions to ask to guide the conversation.

Group Discussions

Talking It Over

Talking It Over is a guide to facilitating discussion among informal groups – such as congregations, community organizations, classes or senior groups – to explore personal views about end-of-life care. Though this discussion guide can be used by experienced facilitators and healthcare professionals, it is designed and written so that anyone can use it.

The Conversation Project

The Conversation Project offers many resources, tips, and tools for getting your thoughts together before having the conversation and having the conversation with people most likely to be involved in your care. 

Finding Your Way: Medical Decisions When They Count Most

For those who are starting the advance care planning process or considering whether to start or stop life-sustaining treatment, this brochure is available in English and Spanish. Order in bulk from CCCC’s online store.

Facing Serious Illness: Making Your Wishes Known

This brochure is a guide to POLST  Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. POLST is a medical order that clearly states what kind of medical treatment patients want in the context of serious, chronic, or progressive illness. This brochure is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Order in bulk from CCCC’s online store.

Conversation Tools

Helpful Phrases for Having the POLST Conversation / Frases útiles para usar en las conversaciones sobre POLST
This guide walks healthcare providers through the most commonly used phrases in conversations with a patient and family about the POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form. The guide includes phrases and questions in English and Spanish.

Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care (Heart to Heart®)
Heart to Heart® cards are a bilingual (Chinese/English) communication activity designed to make it easier to understand what people might prefer when their lives are threatened by injury or disease.

Go Wish Cards
Go Wish cards from the Coda Alliance offer a nonthreatening way to explore people’s preferences for care when seriously ill.

Common Practice (Hello/Gift of Grace)
The website has information on the evidence-based conversation game Hello (formerly Gift of Grace) to assist people in discussing what matters most to them.

Ariade Labs (Serious Illness Care)
Ariadne Labs consolidates evidence-supported videos, tools, and resources to support decision making for the seriously ill. 

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO Answers: Advanced Cancer Care Planning)
A free downloadable decision-making guide for patients and families facing advanced cancer with information and resources about care options, communication tips, and coping at end of life.


ACP Decisions
ACP Decisions tools and video.

California Health Care Foundation: Advance Care Planning, Death & Dying
Five brief videos depict people as they reflect on their experiences with advance care planning, death, and dying.