At Jefferson Unitarian Church we know that none of us wants to think about death, especially our own or the death of someone we love. But we also know that someday, each of us will die. In our church, we believe that being able to talk about death is an important part of being human. Each year we offer a variety of opportunities for you to get together with other members of our church and both learn and plan for your death. Below you’ll find a few resources we’ve found to be especially helpful for being prepared for end of life issues, whether you’re a parent with young children at home, or an elder in our community.

Planning for yourself:

For a broad overview of advance care planning, watch this video by JUC member, and board certified geriatrician, Dr. Dan Matlock. Or view the slides by themselves here.

Colorado Care Planning: No matter where you are on the advance care planning journey, this site can help you identify the right steps to take for where you are, and where you want to get.

We want to give to what matters most in our lives: family, friends and institutions that share our core values. Giving may result from investment or tax and estate planning and our desire to support those things that mean the most to us. Learn about your options on the Planned Giving page of this website.

Advance Care Directive: Find out everything you want to know about, and then prepare an advance care directive that you can provide to your family and doctors so they know what you want if you can’t tell them in person. Or, if you are a US Service Veteran, click here for a VA specific page on advance care directives.

Getting Your Affairs In Order: A publication of the National Institute on Aging about the important documents you’ll want to have, from personal records, to financial records, to important legal documents. This is the place to find a checklist for them all.

The Conversation Project: Many of the issues involved in the end stages of life reach deep into our hearts about our values and our hopes. The Conversation Project offers this guidebook to help you consider some of the issues that may affect you or a loved one when it comes to making medical decisions at or near the end of life.

Your Right to Make Health Care Decisions: A few legal documents can make a world of difference to ensure that you receive the kind, quantity and quality of care that you want at the end of life. This guidebook from the Colorado Hospital Association will help you take care of things like medical power of attorney, a living will and a CPR directive.

Organ Donation: Many people wish to leave an enduring legacy of life after they die, and organ donation can be one important way to do that. Find out more about what it takes, and what it means, to be an organ donor at the website of Donate Life Colorado.

Senior Law Day: Aging involves so much more than just heath care decisions. Visit the website of the Colorado Bar Association Senior Law Day and find out more about upcoming events, or download the most current copy of the Senior Law Handbook for free resources on everything from government benefits to family issues to medical paperwork, and more.

Five Wishes: Five Wishes is a guided workbook that can assist you in thinking through medical treatment wishes, things you want your family to know, and who can make decisions for you if you aren’t able. With appropriate signatures, Five Wishes is a legal document in Colorado. You can download a sample page, or if you want a blank copy to fill out, contact the church office, where we have a supply.

Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST): Take this form to your primary care physician to remember to talk to your physician about what medical care you want. You can’t fill the form out on your own, but you can take it with you and get a copy at your doctor’s office (usually bright green), and put it on your refrigerator for easy access should it ever be needed.

Digital Death: Are you prepared for your loved ones to handle your electronic identity after you die? This page talks about some of the steps that you can take to make sure your Facebook account can be taken care of after your death, in the ways that feel most right to you.

Helping Someone You Love:

End of Life: Helping With Comfort and Care: An extended publication of the National Institute on Aging that provides guidance of a wide range of end of life issues, from understanding terms like palliative care and hospice, to questions to ask, helpful things to offer, and resources on getting care for yourself in your grief.

At the End of Life:

The Funeral Consumer Society of Colorado: If you want to know more about the prices for cremation and burial services, this organization does an annual survey of prices around the state. You can also opt to receive their newsletter.

Leaving Your Family What They Need: Here’s a helpful checklist of things your family may need to have on hand when you die, everything from a list of financial assets to passwords.