Your Story

Real people are talking about their values as part of a new advance care planning initiative in the Dayton region. These are powerful conversations that can be shared with family members and loved ones in case you are not able to speak or make decisions for yourself regarding your healthcare. Our hope is that by helping people have these conversations, we can empower family members and loved ones with the information they need to make decisions on behalf of their loved one when it is necessary. Hear how advance care planning can make a difference when you or your loved ones are faced with an unplanned situation that impacts your healthcare.

Decide to be Heard seeks to help you make your voice heard through advance care planning. As the Dayton region’s only community-wide advance care planning program, we are helping people in the Dayton region have a conversation with a trained Facilitator about personal experiences and values that inform their beliefs about managing illness and death. Traditionally, these conversations are postponed to the very end of life and do not occur under the best circumstances for an individual or their family. With Decide to be Heard, we have opportunity to help people and their families have better conversations earlier in life, which could have long-term impacts on how we take care of ourselves and each other as we age.


When my father was diagnosed with end-stage pancreatic cancer, my siblings, my mother and I had to make decisions about his care. It was less of a burden on us because we had talked with my parents long before Dad was ill so we knew his wishes. We also knew these were his true wishes and not the pain or medication talking. He was able to die on his terms, not ours.

When my in-laws passed, it was unexpected. They did not have any plans in place. They never wanted to talk about it. It was very hard as the family all had their own ideas and it was very stressful.”

Susan P.



I lost both parents to cancer. Father had paperwork in place and made it easy to follow his wishes. Mother did not have paperwork in place. We had several conversations with her about her wishes, but before she could complete paperwork, she coded. We had to go through the painful process of turning off life support.”

Beverly S.



My sisters and I have recently gone through all the legalities for our mom, who is in early stages of dementia. We each (and MOM) know what is happening, what we each will be responsible for, who Mom will live with when the time comes – SUCH a big burden lifted for each of us. My father-in-law did NOT make sure this was done and when he died, his entire estate was held for weeks. It was AWFUL during those dark days after his death.”

JoAnne D.