Conversations around serious illness and medical treatment options can be uncomfortable for patients and healthcare providers alike. However, not knowing what a patient wants can create an even more uncomfortable situation, as family members may anguish over decision-making during a medical emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic makes the threat of becoming seriously ill very quickly frighteningly real — and the need to engage in thoughtful conversations about goals of care beyond urgent.
The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California is the respected voice for advance care planning and palliative care in California, with nearly 20 years of experience in creating a range of resources and educational materials to support healthcare providers and consumers. We’ve gathered together some of our best resources, as well as those of other respected leaders, in this COVID-19 Toolkit to provide easy access and support for healthcare providers and consumers as they navigate decision-making during these these challenging times. We will be regularly updating this resource as additional materials are developed or identified.
Tools and resources to help start a conversation about care during serious illness, as well as unbiased guides to possible treatment options.
- Advance Care Planning Conversation Guide for Consumers | Tips on how to raise the issue, responses to concerns your loved one might express and questions to ask.
- Finding Your Way: Medical Decisions When They Count Most | (English) (Spanish)
- The Conversation Project Conversation Starter Kit
- Decision Aids | CCCC’s decision aids explain the complex topics of life-sustaining treatments using consumer-friendly language with neutral, evidence-based information. Topics include Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Ventilator, Artificial Hydration, and Tube Feeding. Available in multiple languages.
- Messaging About Advance Care Planning During COVID-19 for Patients | PREPARE for Your Care (Free)
- Script: Proactive Care Planning for COVID-19 | Respecting Choices
- COVID-Ready Communication Playbook: VitalTalk
- POLST COVID-19 Statement | National POLST
- COVID-19 Links & Resources
ADVANCE DIRECTIVE FORM
A California Advance Health Care Directive, also known as an advance directive, is a form that allows you to name someone you trust to make medical decisions for you in an emergency, and have a say in how you want to be cared for if you can’t speak for yourself. It can come in a variety of formats.
- Basic Advance Directive in English, Spanish, and Chinese
- PREPARE for Your Care Easy-to-Read Advance Directive in multiple languages
- Thinking Ahead | Advance Directive for use by persons with developmental disabilities
- Making a Plan-Thinking Ahead | Advance Directive for individuals with mental health challenges
ADVANCE DIRECTIVE TOOLS & RESOURCES
CALIFORNIA POLST FORM
Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is for people who are seriously ill or have advanced frailty. It is not appropriate for everyone. If you are healthy, an advance directive may be more appropriate.
- California POLST form. Translations are available in multiple languages.
- California POLST FAQs – General
- Guidance for Health Care Professionals to Identify Appropriate Patients for POLST |National POLST
- Guidance for Completing POLST Forms in Crisis Standards of Care | National POLST
- POLST Quick Reference Guides