< Back

What's Important to You

When an advanced illness is diagnosed, or your condition progresses, what matters most to you will likely change.

When this happens, we make it a point to understand what’s most important to you in the moment. This takes some real thought and discussion.

For some, it may be important to attend a daughter’s wedding or see the birth of a grandchild. For others, it may be to receive all viable medical treatments, no matter what the quality of life might be. Still others may decide to stop traditional treatment to focus on comfort and pain relief.

Your personal beliefs and values can guide you when you have such choices to make. Whatever your wishes, we’ll work with you by providing information and support. We’ll help you incorporate what’s important to you into an action plan that’s uniquely yours, one that reflects your values and preferences.

A key planning tool

An Advance Health Care Directive allows you to designate someone to make decisions on your behalf and give instructions about your medical care should you become unable to speak for yourself.

Making your wishes known to your family and your health care team gives everyone peace of mind knowing your care will reflect your values and decisions. To help prepare for the unexpected, discuss your wishes with your loved ones and your physician and, if you are 18 or over, complete an Advance Health Care Directive form. If your wishes change, this form can be revised and updated at anytime.

Forms (in English and Spanish) are available from your palliative care team, at your local Kaiser Permanente Health Education Department, or online (Link does not work.  Please include attached two pdf files for Advance directives in English and Spanish.

A team specializing in peace of mind

Our palliative care services blend the skills of a variety of health care professionals who’ll provide you with the care you need. In addition to your personal physician, your palliative care team may include a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, social worker, and spiritual advisor. They each bring a different perspective, enabling us to care for the whole you—body, mind, and spirit. Along with medical care, your team will address any of your questions or concerns. They’re here to support you and your loved ones, and they’ll help you work through whatever might be troubling you.

Keep in mind that the palliative care team does not replace your relationship with your personal physician. He or she is still your partner in your medical decisions, and the palliative care team works closely with you and your doctor to make sure those decisions are carried out.

For more information

To learn more about palliative care, talk with your personal physician.

“The discussions with the team members were absolutely invaluable—psychologically, emotionally. They helped us develop a plan, come to grips with our alternatives, understand where we were in this process. That gave my wife a tremendous sense of peace. For me personally, it just took a huge load off of me.” — Bob Clark Kaiser Permanente member

Life Care Planning (LCP)

All adult members’ wishes for future health care needs are elicited, known and honored.

We will:

  • Initiate the conversation
  • Provide assistance with advance care planning
  • Make sure plans are clear
  • Maintain and retrieve the plans
  • Appropriately follow these plans

Life Care Planning is an organized process of communication to help individuals understand, think about, and discuss goals for future health care decisions that reflect their values and beliefs.

If you are interested in or are a current LCP Facilitator or Instructor, please visit the Life Care Planning website to find the tools and resources to support you.