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

Virginia Department of Health Advance Directives

These are the Advanced Directives provided by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Advance Directives are instructions given by individuals specifying what actions should be taken for their health in the event that they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity.

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.

DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Form

A “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) order is issued by a doctor at a patient’s request. Once a DNR order has been issued for a person, medical personnel will no t try to revive them if they stop breathing (respiratory arrest) or if their heart stops beating (cardiac arrest). Note the attached document is for example purposes only. The Virginia Department of Health is the sole provider of official DNR forms. All DNR forms must be supplied to healthcare providers directly from the Virginia Department of Health.

Tools for Life Planning in Virginia

This documents provides information from the Virginia Department of Aging on Durable Power-of-Attorneys, Trusts, Wills, Probates, Health and Personal Choice Tools, Health Care Power-of-Attorneys, Living Wills, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Orders, Organ & Tissue Donations, Advance Planning Assistance, Choosing a Lawyer, and Guardianship & Conservatorship.

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.