Advance Care Planning

In our society, we plan for many things. 

We prepare for our retirement, save money for our kids’ education, and even plan for our next trip.  One of things that we should also make sure to plan for is the kind of treatment and care we want when we are seriously ill or at the end of life.


There are excellent resources available focusing on COVID-19 and Advance Care Planning. As part of our COVID-19 response we are offering virtual Advance Care Planning training sessions (zoom or otherwise) for professionals as well as the public. Please contact us.

The Conversation Project

Download a brand new Conversation Project guide specific to COVID-19, 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. Please look at their additional resources.


Advance care planning (ACP) is much more than completing one’s Advance Directive:  it also includes the ongoing discussions we have with our loved one concerning our decisions for future healthcare.

We want to think about the type of end-of-life treatment we want and tell our loved ones our decisions before a crisis.  Too often, family and friends are left trying to figure out the type of treatment a loved one would have wanted if she/he could still speak.

That is why it is important to learn about the different options for end-of-life care and state your wishes in case there is a time when you no longer can speak for yourself.

Advance care planning is for the whole family: it is a gift you can give to your loved ones and a gift they can give to you.

Kōkua Mau offers talks on advance care planning, web-based resources on how to start conversations with loved ones, and Advance Directives.

We have also trained ACP facilitators who can help you and your loved ones talk about your wishes and document them in advance directives.  Our Let’s Talk Story Program has two-dozen trained speakers who will work with your group or organization for a tailor made presentation. Contact Kōkua Mau for more information about our Let’s Talk Story Program.

More information about: Advance Directives.

Additionally we encourage all people with serious illness to learn about POLST (Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment.)

POLST makes your wishes known and is followed by health care providers, including Emergency Medical Services, such as paramedics. A POLST form must be signed by a physician or APRN licensed in the State of Hawai‘i (or allowed to practice if from the Military or VA) to be valid. POLST makes your wishes for healthcare known to all providers if you cannot speak for yourself. In comparison to an Advance Directive, it can be honored by emergency medical services. Wishes documented in a POLST can be honored across all care settings.

Remember: Everyone needs an Advance Health Care Directive
Not Everyone needs a POLST

Additionally we encourage all people with serious illness to learn about POLST (Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment.)

The Conversation Project

We always talk about the fact that having ‘the conversation‘ is an important, but often a difficult and emotionally challenging task. The Conversation Project (TCP) is a national project dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. Kōkua Mau is a strong partner of the TCP and we encourage you to visit their website.  They have a variety of excellent, free resources including the Starter Kit, which is being used widely around Hawaii.

More about TCP on our website (with Starter Kit)

Additional Resources 


More about our  Multilingual Hawaii Advance Directives

Chinese simplified Hawaii Advance Health Care Directive

Chinese traditional Hawaii Advance Health Care Directive

Ilocano Hawaii Advance Health Care Directive

Japanese Hawaii Advance Health Care Directive

Korean Hawaii Advance Health Care Directive

Marshallese Hawaii Advance Health Care Directive

Spanish Hawaii Advance Health Care Directive

Tagalog Hawaii Advance Health Care Directive

Tongan Hawaii Advance Health Care Directive

Vietnamese Hawaii Advance Health Care Directive