The “What Matters to Me” Workbook was jointly created by Ariadne Labs and The Conversation Project to help people with a serious illness think through and talk about what matters most to them – to make sure they get the care they want.
After completing the Workbook and talking it over with someone close to you, the next step is to talk with your health care team (doctor, nurse, social worker, etc.) so they understand what’s most important to you. See our How To Talk To Your Doctor guide for useful advice.
Note: The Workbook is based on expert opinion and is currently undergoing testing with patients and their caregivers to evaluate its usability and usefulness.
If you are not seriously ill, please see our Conversation Starter Kit.
The Conversation Starter Kit is a useful tool to help you have the conversation with a family member, friend, or other loved one about your – or their – wishes regarding end-of-life care. It is available in several languages. All of the Starter Kits are available to download and print for free.
- Conversation Starter Kit
- Who Will Speak For You? How to choose and be a health care proxy
- Conversation Starter Kit for Loved Ones of People with Alzheimer’s/Dementia
- How To Talk To Your Doctor
- Pediatric Starter Kit: Having the Conversation with Your Seriously Ill Child
Note: Before filling in a Starter Kit, save it to your desktop. Otherwise, anything you type in it will not be saved.
Click here to download a brand new guide specific to COVID-19. With the generous support from the Cambia Health Foundation, The Conversation Project and Ariadne Labs teamed up to create this new tool to help people take action and be prepared. We can’t control how this pandemic plays out. But we can control who speaks for us if we’re unable to speak for ourselves, and we can take the time to make sure they know what matters most to us. Have this conversation today.
This guide, along with other resources, is available for you to use and distribute on our COVID-19 Resource Page.
Talking with your loved ones openly and honestly, before a medical crisis happens, gives everyone a shared understanding about what matters most to you at the end of life. You can use this Starter Kit whether you are getting ready to tell someone else what you want, or you want to help someone else get ready to share their wishes.
Audio version: Ellen Goodman reads The Conversation Starter Kit (English)
In addition to having the conversation, it’s important to choose a health care proxy – the person who will make decisions about your medical care if you become unable to make them for yourself. This user-friendly guide offers facts and tips necessary to make sound decisions about choosing, and being, a health care proxy.
Some regions use alternative terms for “proxy,” such as “agent” or “surrogate.” You are permitted, under our Creative Commons license, to edit the this document to better suit your community, including changing the terminology. Click here for information and directions on editing our starter kits.
Conversation Starter Kit for Families and Loved Ones of People with Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Forms of Dementia
This Starter Kit is specifically designed to help families and loved ones of people with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia who want guidance about “having the conversation.” We appreciate the difficulty — and the importance — of having these conversations.
Co-branded version: For organizations planning to distribute the Starter Kit for Families and Loves Ones of People with Alzheimer’s, we have a version to which you can add your logo and local contact information. Available for purchase here.
After you’ve had the conversation with your loved ones, the next step is talking to your doctor or nurse about your wishes. Don’t wait for a medical crisis; talking with your doctor or nurse now makes it easier to make medical decisions when the time comes.
This Starter Kit is specifically designed to help parents of seriously ill children who want guidance about “having the conversation” with their children.