It's Time to Talk Turkey About Advance Care Planning

An array of small decorative gourds

While you might avoid talking politics and religion around the holiday table, there’s one smart topic to bring up when the family is gathered together: advance care planning.

Do your loved ones have a plan for medical care if they should become very sick or injured? Have you talked about who should make medical decisions if they cannot? Is there documentation, and do all the right people have a copy of it?

It’s not always an easy conversation to start, but it’s an important one. Seize the moment to “talk turkey” over the holidays with these resources to help you get started.

Michigan Medicine provides a free, simple toolkit online to help you or a loved one set up what’s known as an “advance directive” about health care. You do not need to be a Michigan Medicine patient to use these materials. One advantage of using the toolkit is that it meets the requirements to be a legal document in the state of Michigan. To get started, download the booklet or visit the Michigan Medicine advance directives page.  To learn more, visit Getting the Most Out of Your Health Care. 

Need help broaching the subject? If you need ideas on how to bring up advance care planning in between football and the holiday buffet, visit the Conversation Project or begintheconversation.org. Check out this short video about how to bring up this sometimes-tricky subject.

Ultimately, advance care planning is a gift to your loved ones. Take the guesswork out of medical care and decision-making at critical moments by having this important conversation ahead of time.