Date of Award

Summer 6-1-2022

Scholarly Projects

Projects: SPU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Faculty Chair

Dr. Chanam Shin

Faculty Reader

Pamela Davies

Executive Summary


Over 50% of older (65 years and older) Americans state that they have not completed or considered advance care planning (ACP), while 80% of Americans wish to die at home, yet only about 20% actually do so (Stanford University, 2020). Lack of ACP has been shown to increase healthcare costs, lead to worsened quality of life (QOL), and increased family burden (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020). This can lead to further lead to increased healthcare costs as well (CDC, 2020).

Purpose Statement

The aim of this Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to evaluate AgingOptions’ LifePlanning program by assessing how it aided the family or assigned agents in medical decision making for their loved ones.


A total of 42 invitations were mailed out to participants from a list of client family members who were the durable power of attorney of healthcare (DPOA-HC) or an assigned agent to the client. Seven participants responded and six participants met eligibility criteria to participate in the study. This list was provided by AgingOptions. A survey questionnaire consisting of Likert scale and yes or no questions was used to gather information from client’s family members who participated in the LifePlanning program with AgingOptions. The questionnaire was to assess the “five pillars” of the LifePlanning program which include legal, financial, health, housing, and family domains. This report focused on family burden, satisfaction, and legal planning through the LifePlanning program. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).


The majority of participants (83%, n = 5) rated that they felt very satisfied with the guidance provided by the LifePlanning program. One third (n = 2) of participants felt that the family meetings and communication did not decrease feelings of being burdened at all, while 50% (n = 3) of participants rated the family meetings were somewhat helpful as a guide to end-of-life (EOL) planning for their loved one.


The findings of the project will be shared with the key stakeholders of AgingOptions to assist them in better understanding the strengths and shortcomings of the LifePlanning program and help them identify methods to improve it. It is hoped that changes can be implemented to make LifePlanning more useful for older adults. Future DNP students can further explore the implications of ACP and continue working with AgingOptions to encourage more adults to complete EOL planning and address barriers to completing ACP.

Implications for Practice

The results from this project may help clinicians address barriers to completing ACP early on (at least one year prior to retirement) with individuals to encourage EOL planning and ACP. More research is needed on how to target individuals who did not complete ACP prior to death using the findings from this project.