Organizations & Websites

Advance Directives

Every state has some sort of form that can be used to make a person’s desires known. This form should then be given to your doctor, loved ones and a copy kept in your personal documents.

A good resource for finding your state’s Advance Directive form is here.

National Resources

The Conversation Project

The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. The Conversation Project began in 2010, when the writer Ellen Goodman and a group of colleagues and concerned media, clergy, and medical professionals gathered to share stories of “good deaths” and “bad deaths” within their own circle of loved ones. This will be a meaningful resource that will play an important role in our national conversation about aging and end-of-life.

Respecting Choices

Respecting Choices is the leading organization in applying best practices in advance care planning. See the story about LaCrosse recently on NPR The Town That Loves Death. Sounds grim but you should look at the article as it is anything but!   There was also a commentary  The Town Where Everyone Talks about Death that followed.

Their approach is particularly effective because it recognizes that advance care planning is an ongoing process of communication and not a one time event. The more ease a community has with this conversation the better the outcome for all involved. Founder Bernard J. Hannes, PhD  is passionate and eloquent about his primary reason for his quest — improving  quality of and satisfaction with medical care!

The Respecting Choices training I attended  in Wisconsin April 7-9 was truly spectacular. They have done a magnificent job of developing and sharing their community-wide system of a health-care that aligns with the deepest wishes of their patients and their loved ones.

Final Exit

This is a group that has existed for a long time with a commitment to assisting personal control of one’s living and dying.

Vermont Resources

The Vermont Ethics Network

The Vermont Ethics Network website contains information and resources on advance directives, health care decision making, and current topics related to health care ethics, end-of-life care, palliative care and pain management. They are a fantastic resource. Here is their page for the Vermont Advance Directive forms.

Local Resources – Brattleboro, Vermont area

Brattleboro Area Hospice

Community-based, non-profit volunteer hospice organization providing free services to Southeastern Vermont and bordering New Hampshire towns. The most recent development is the introduction of the “Death Cafe” – providing a friendly and safe place to begin talking about a subject which has been avoided as much as possible.

Ray Walker, PhD is a retired psychiatrist and a long time advocate of Advanced Directives. He is happy to talk with you and help you through the Advanced Directive if you would like a 1:1 helper other than myself.  His phone number is 802-257-7909.

Senior Solutions

For a variety of excellent  resources for successful aging in Southeastern Vermont serving residents aged 60 and up.  One of their programs recently mentioned in the papers is PEARLS (Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives for Seniors.

Websites – an excellent resource regarding green burial and home funerals  All about world café methods with guides for creating your own    – emphasizes the importance of personal involvement in decisions about one’s care at the end of life.  There’s a full YouTube version available  Website with training, research library etc. The program in LaCrosse WI whose materials we use.