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Later Life Planning

How to plan ahead for common concerns at the end of life

Why a Resource Guide for Later Life Planning?

While we all hope to live healthy, productive, happy lives, in truth we all face health challenges at some point, usually (by definition) later in our lives. Chronic illness or disability - either our own, or of those we care for - may complicate our activities of daily life. We find ourselves faced with often-difficult decisions to make about health care, about quality of life, about our legacies, and about how best to leave this life. The paths we take towards end-of-life are what we mean by the phrase "later life".

The core belief behind PlaneTree Health Library is that we all fare better when we can make informed decisions for ourselves and for our families and loved ones, and fare best when those decisions reflect our values and what is important to us. This guide pulls together resources to help people in Santa Clara County make their best choices - and to be able to talk with the important people in our lives about what we want.


This guide is part of a series. The other guides are:


Planning for our end of life doesn't have to be grim - it can even be silly, as in this Dr. Seuss parody:

About the Content in This Guide

We believe that being well-informed is key to taking better care of health (our own, and of our loved ones), and empowers us to work more effectively with our health care professionals. 

PlaneTree Health Library strives to guide the public to trustworthy, accurate, and free-to-use health and medical information. Links on these webpages have been chosen from authoritative and reputable non-commercial sites (nonprofit organizations, medical specialty groups, or government agencies). All of that information is freely accessible. We never link to advertisements and we avoid infomercials. 

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While PlaneTree Health Library strives to guide you to reliable, valid, up-to-date information, every person's situation is unique. Be sure to discuss information gathered from these resources with your health care providers to see if it is relevant to your individual situation. Health and medical information accessed through these websites is not intended to substitute for or to replace the advice or instruction of a health care professional. 

PlaneTree Health Library is not responsible for the content on web sites accessed from our site. Each originating organization has sole responsibility for its web pages. Our intention is to provide patients, their families, and caregivers with trustworthy information to help them make informed decisions.

The text on this page is copyright PlaneTree Health Library, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Linked contents are the responsibility of their creators or copyright holders.