New PREPARE for THEIR Care Program Helps Make Medical Planning Easier for Friends & Family

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PREPARE, a leading provider of evidence-based advance care planning tools, has launched a new, easy to use program to support people as they help family and friends with their medical planning and decision-making. The new program, PREPARE for THEIR Care, provides videos and step-by-step guides to learn how to help other people with their medical planning and how make medical decisions on someone else’s behalf.

Friends and family members often find themselves in the position of having to make medical decisions for other people. In fact, this “surrogate decision making” is required in over 75% of cases at the end of life. However, patients’ family and friends are often unprepared to make complex medical decisions on their behalf. This results in significant emotional distress for the patients’ friends and family, including prolonged grief and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Engaging in discussions with people about their values and preferences ahead of a medical crisis has been shown to increase surrogates’ self-efficacy and satisfaction in medical decision making and to decrease stress,” says Rebecca Sudore, MD, creator of PREPARE. “But up until this point, there have been few resources designed specifically to help surrogate decision makers.”

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What People Need to Help Others with Medical Planning and Decision Making

PREPARE for THEIR Care shares valuable information about how to bring up the topic of medical planning, how to talk with family members and friends about their medical wishes, and how to help them write those wishes down. It also provides guidance on how to make medical decisions for those who can no longer speak for themselves, including understanding patients’ quality of life priorities, how to talk with medical providers about treatment benefits, risks, and options, and how to deal with potential family conflict.

After over ten years of empowering people to have a voice in their medical care through PREPARE for YOUR Care, PREPARE is using their platform to now also help caregivers and surrogate decision makers with communication and decision-making skills so they feel more comfortable initiating advance care planning conversations with their family and friends.

To develop content for PREPARE for THEIR Care, PREPARE conducted 13 focus groups concerning patients’ and surrogates’ needs for ACP. They also collected one-on-one, open-ended feedback from surrogates who were recruited from two randomized trials that demonstrated the benefit of PREPARE for YOUR Care.

Both the PREPARE for YOUR Care and PREPARE for THEIR Care programs offer several advance care planning resources that are easy to understand, many in both English and Spanish, that can be used online or in printed form, including legally valid advance directive forms for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as step-by-step video guides that walk people through the advance care planning process.

About PREPARE for YOUR Care
Launched by UCSF in 2013 with input from patients and caregivers from culturally diverse populations, PREPARE is a free, bilingual, online program that uses lay language and ‘how to’ video examples to guide users through five planning steps for medical decision-making, focused on exploring their wishes and learning how to discuss those wishes with family, friends and medical providers. PREPARE also provides tools to create an easy-to-read, legally binding advance directives for all 50 states, in English, Spanish and a growing number in Chinese. There are also resources for healthcare professionals and community-based organizations. PREPARE is the only person-centered advance care planning program that has been designated as an Evidenced-Based Program by the National Council on Aging. To learn more, please visit https://prepareforyourcare.org.

CONTACT: CONTACT: Jana Powell, PREPARE Project Manager [email protected]

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