CHCD's popular Finding Your Way booklet now has updated content and a more contemporary design. First published in 1998, Finding Your Way encourages early family discussions and helps patients and their loved ones consider difficult decisions about medical treatment near the end of life. More than 500,000 copies have been distributed by doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains and clergy throughout California and the U.S. The Spanish language booklet, Como Encontrar Su Camino has also been updated.
Finding Your Way: Medical Decisions When They Count Most was developed in response to the concerns of healthcare professionals and consumers that:
- Many people never think about their own views and values regarding end-of-life decisions until a crisis hits--when decision-making is most difficult.
- Healthcare professionals themselves often have difficulty initiating discussions about end-of-life decisions with their patients--and there are few tools available that provide a gentle but direct way for introducing this topic.
- There is an abundance of material about advance directives, but for some people completing a legal document may not be the place to start.
Dozens of healthcare organizations in 39 states have ordered the booklet. CalPERS purchased 50,000 copies for its members, and the California Department of Health Services ordered 150,000 copies for distribution to nursing homes in the state.
Ways Finding Your Way has been helpful:
- With high-risk patients or those who understand they have a potentially terminal diagnosis.
- For family members who may be facing difficult decisions for a loved one.
- To orient healthcare personnel in their role of counseling others on end-of-life decisions.
- For patients or health plan members as part of a basic package of educational material.
Ideas for distributing the booklet:
- Through hospital patient/health education departments.
- At advance directives workshops or consumer health fairs.
- In brochure racks in physician/hospital examination or waiting rooms.
- In skilled nursing facilities for residents and family members, other residential care settings, or through community or home-based programs.
What people are saying about Finding Your Way:
"I have an advance directive, but my eight grown children
rarely agree on anything. I'm sending them each a copy of
Finding Your Way. I'm leaving nothing to chance!"
A 76-year old resident of Auburn, CA
"I keep Finding Your Way within an arm's reach. For our clients, it's more than a discussion starter--it's an action starter."
Larry Cassevah, Social Worker
Yolo Adult Day Health Center, Woodland, CA
"Baby boomers worry about their aging parents but don't know
how to bring up these issues, Finding Your Way opens
that door of communication."
Sharon Turner, RN
Sierra Nevada Home Care, Grass Valley, CA
"I gave Finding Your Way to a family struggling with a decision
to take their dying mother off dialysis. After reading it, they
were more comfortable making a decision that reflected
her wishes. Finding Your Way helped them understand
in a way that conversation alone could not."
Fr. Basil Royston, Chaplain
O'Connor Hospital, San Jose, CA