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AARP AARP States Washington Caregiving

Guest Post: "Planning for Life"

Planning for Life
By Mary Tyson Catlin—Senior Director, Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest

We plan for many things in life, like education, buying a home and retirement. We even plan for bad weather.

Advance care planning is planning future health care decisions. Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest (PNW) is making that planning easier to talk about, write down and share.


Advance care planning is not only about end of life – it’s really about life itself. By identifying your health care values and preferences, you can better select the treatment options you want or don’t want. You can name the activities important to you in order to do them more often. You can select the person you trust to make decisions for you if you are not able. Most importantly, you can share this information with loved ones, so they can know and honor your choices.

Honoring Choices PNW is thrilled to be a community partner with AARP! A joint initiative between the Washington State Hospital Association and the Washington State Medical Association, Honoring Choices PNW’s vision is that everyone will receive care that honors their values and preferences at the end of life. We partner with health care and community organizations to provide facilitated conversations so people can identify their wishes and name a health care agent. We provide unbiased information so decisions can be informed and personalized. We also work toward a culture where those decisions are known and respected.

Honoring Choices PNW will begin offering group advance care planning conversations following selected AARP’s Living Longer, Living Smarter courses. During the 60-minute session, we will:
• Explore personal experiences and what you learned from them
• Identify values and beliefs, and what “living well” means to you
• Learn how to select and prepare a health care agent
• Consider what treatment options you’d prefer if something sudden (like an accident or illness) happened
• Learn how to start a conversation about your wishes

Loved ones and health care agents are welcome to join.

Of course, if you can’t wait for a group conversation, reach out to us for an individual session! Email or call 206-577-1825 and we’ll connect you with a certified facilitator.  You can also find more information and a contact form on our website.

Think of advance care planning like carrying an umbrella in case of bad weather: you may not need it, but it is a great way to cover you and the ones you love.

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