Health literacy is not just about life prolonging measures as the end of life approaches. It's really about the process of medical decision making: thinking ahead about what it takes to give informed consent under any circumstances and making the most of the time you spend in the health care system. That applies to an elective procedure, emergency medical care and, yes, care choices at the end of life.

In 2016, I had rotator cuff surgery. It wasn't exactly an emergency, but it wasn't elective either because it had to happen. It was definitely a lesson in medical decision making and it occurred to me that others might benefit from my experience. Voila--A SURVIVOR'S GUIDE to ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY! This handy dandy two-page flyer will prepare you for what's ahead, whether you are the patient or the caregiver. And the issues it highlights--decision making, temporary disability, caregiving and pain relief--apply to any medical procedure. Feel free to share with family, friends and health care providers!

Medicare benefits now include Advance Care Planning consultations with your primary physician (effective January 1, 2016). How can you best use that valuable time? Well, here's my free guide to get you started.The D.E.C.I.D.E. GUIDE to Advance Care Planning includes a basic Glossary of Advance Care Planning terms and action steps to prepare for that patient-physician conversation, to include your proxies in the dialogue and to record your wishes with an effective health care advance directive.  Feel free to share with family, friends and health care providers!