VSED Preparation Checklist


VSED requires commitment, perseverance, and planning. The following is a list of steps we recommend you take in the lead-up to beginning VSED.

– Determine medical support

  • Note names and contact numbers for client’s provider
  • Ask if client has spoken with provider about VSED
  • Determine if provider is supportive
    • If not, request referral to supportive provider
  • Ask if client has seen complementary/holistic provider
  • Identify complementary providers the client has seen
  • Review advance directive, POLST

– Complete all legal work

  • Release of Information (ROI) authorization signed, copied
  • Advance directive completed with VSED addendum and copied
  • POLST completed, signed by provider, and copied
  • Prepare “Release and Assumption of Risk” document for caregivers & doula
  • Identify client’s durable power of attorney (DPOA) for healthcare
    • If not supportive of VSED, choose another DPOA
    • Note contact numbers for DPOA
  • Legal will completed, if desired
  • Prepare two videos:
    • Longer one (2-3 minutes) for legal purposes
    • Shorter video (1 minute) for self-advocacy
  • Determine if all family members are on board
  • Provide legal resources provided if needed and desired

– Choose coordinator–trusted friend or death doula—who:

  • Coordinates the team: family members, caregivers, hospice, friends, faith community representative
  • Sets an atmosphere of peace and calm
    Embodies compassion; always follows client’s lead
  • Liaisons with all: PCP, hospice, caregivers, holistic practitioners
  • Consistently assesses needs of client, family, caregivers
  • May need to be the gate keeper to client
    Educates family about dying process, VSED process
  • Helps client prepare an after-death plan

– Choose point person

  • Consistent spokesperson for client

– Select caregivers

  • Discuss importance of full-time caregivers
  • Discuss preference for caregivers:
    • Experienced with end-of-life and VSED
    • Available consistently for two-week period
    • Non–family care members
  • Share resources for finding caregivers
  • Share resources for teaching caregivers about VSED
  • Discuss the financial cost of caregivers
  • Sign “Release and Assumption of Risk” document
  • Help client consider Comfort Measures list

– Choose start date or personal “markers”

  • Identify when time is right to begin VSED

– Complete Comfort Measures list

– Arrange for Hospice referral

  • Made by healthcare provider or client or doula
  • Ask hospice to complete an intake, if possible
  • If possible, obtain hospital bed from hospice

– Gather equipment and supplies

– Final to-do list

  • Food and all cooking smells out of the house
  • Bedroom and bathroom set-up
  • Everyone knows their role
  • Schedule of caregivers documented and in notebook
  • Legal paperwork all together in notebook
  • Hospice on standby
  • Notify Hospice of start date
  • Intestinal cleanse completed
  • After-death arrangements completed

– Acknowledge the beginning in a personal way

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