Planning for the end of life can be difficult. But by deciding what end-of-life care best suits your needs when you are healthy, you can help those close to you make the right choices when the time comes.
End-of-life planning usually includes making choices about the following:
- The goals of care (for example, whether to use certain medicines during the last days of life)
- Where you want to spend your final days
- Which treatments for end-of-life care you wish to receive
- What type of palliative care and hospice care you wish to receive
Advance directives can help make your wishes clear to your family and health care providers.
- Advanced Illness: Holding on and Letting Go (Family Caregiver Alliance)
- End of Life (National Institute on Aging)
- End of Life (Supporting a Terminally Ill Loved One) (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- End-of-Life Care for People Who Have Cancer (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Last Days of Life (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Nearing the End of Life (American Cancer Society) Also in Spanish
- Providing Care and Comfort at the End of Life (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
- COVID-19: Funeral Guidance for Individuals and Families (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Culturally Diverse Communities and Palliative and End-of-Life Care (American Psychological Association) - PDF
- How to Talk about End-of-Life Decisions (American College of Emergency Physicians)
- Living Well with a Serious Illness: Talking with Your Doctor When the Future Is Uncertain (American College of Physicians) - PDF
- Planning Your Own Funeral (Federal Trade Commission) Also in Spanish
- Shopping for Funeral Services (Federal Trade Commission) Also in Spanish
- Types of Funerals (Federal Trade Commission) Also in Spanish
- What to Do after Someone Dies (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
- Advanced Illness: Feeding Tubes and Ventilators (Family Caregiver Alliance) Also in Spanish
- Artificial Hydration and Nutrition (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Coping with Advanced Cancer: Choices for Care Near the End of Life (National Cancer Institute)
- End of Life Care (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)
- End-of-Life Care for People with Dementia (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
- Making Decisions for Someone at the End of Life (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
- Young People Facing End-of-Life Care Decisions (National Cancer Institute)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Terminal Care (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Dead-infant carrying by chimpanzee mothers in the Budongo Forest.
- Article: Travelling to die: views, attitudes and end-of-life preferences of Israeli considering...
- Article: Overall and gender-specific associations between marital status and out-of-hospital coronary death...
- End of Life Issues -- see more articles