Grief Resources

Caregiver’s Guide

This brochure describes how to help someone during the stressful time of grieving for a loved one.

Hard Choices for Loving People

This booklet is written to provide guidance to patients and their families who must face the “hard choices” as they receive and participate in healthcare. The “hard choices” are found in four questions that require treatment decisions: 1) Should resuscitation be attempted? 2) Should artificial nutrition and hydration be utilized? 3) Should a nursing home resident or someone ill at home be hospitalized? and 4) Is it time to shift the treatment goal from cure to comfort care only?

Handbook for Mortals (online version)

This online edition includes the full text of the Handbook for Mortals by Joanne Lynn, M.D. and Joan Harrold, M.D., an authoritative consumer guide to end-of-life care.

Anticipatory Grief

Anticipatory grief refers to the grief experienced when a death is expected. It usually begins with the news of a terminal diagnosis and involves the acknowledgment that the death of a loved one is approaching. This can be extremely painful and difficult to endure. This type of grief is distinct because it is experienced while your loved one is still living. This article describes what to expect and how to address anticipatory grief.

Planning Ahead

Massachusetts Health Care Proxy

The Health Care Proxy allows you to name someone you know and trust to make health care decisions for you if, for any reason and at any time, you become unable to make or communicate those decisions. It is an important document, however, because it concerns not only the choices you make about your health care, but also the relationships you have with your physician, family, and others who may be involved with your care.

Massachusetts Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST)

This Department of Public Health form provides a clear directive with regards to specific care and treatment to be provided in case a patient is unable to communicate those decisions. The form should be printed on bright pink paper (Astrobrights® Pulsar Pink is recommended) for maximum visibility, double-sided.

New Hampshire Advance Care Planning Guide

New Hampshire has created a helpful guide for advance care planning with key questions, definitions, and the official Advance Directive form.

New Hampshire Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

The POLST form compliments your Advance Directives, adding medical treatment choices into written medical orders that will be followed by physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and EMTs. As the POLST form is a medical directive, it is best completed with your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Five Wishes

Five Wishes is a document that combines a living will, which is one form of advance directive, with a document that authorizes a specific type of power of attorney or health care proxy in which someone is appointed to make decisions on their behalf when they are incapacitated. It is often encouraged that people complete the Five Wishes document to provide the most comprehensive guidance regarding their care. A sample document can be found here and you can visit the online tutorial here.

Guide for Caring for the Seriously Ill

The onset of a serious illness can affect much more than a person’s health. Knowing what steps to take to get your financial and legal affairs in order is often vitally important not only to you, but to your loved ones. This guide provides you information on several steps to consider, if you or your loved one faces serious illness.