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.

The Dying Process

The end of life is inevitable. Our Director of Operations, Tom Johnson-Medland is a licensed chaplain and has written numerous books and dozens of articles. Included here is a collection of articles and poems addressing the end of life.

The Grieving Process

It is expected that along with death there will be grief. Tom has also written extensively on the subject of grief. We thought that these articles and poems may prove helpful and interesting as you undertake your own journey.

Bereavement Support
Lighthouse Hospice is staffed with a full-time Bereavement Coordinator that is responsible for coordinating bereavement support in the event of the death of a loved one. We also have Social Workers on staff that can answer questions that you may have an provide community resources that may be of interest to family members. Please contact us here if you have any questions or if we can be of support.

Planning Ahead

New Jersey Department of Health Advance Directives

This State-run website managed by the Department of Health provides FAQs and Advance Directive forms. 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. Included on this site are also the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will forms.

New Jersey POLST Form

The Practitioner Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POSLT) is a form signed by a patient’s physician or advanced practice nurse which provides instructions for health care professionals to follow for a range of life-prolonging interventions. It allows the patient to choose what actions health care personnel should take, or not take, leaving little doubt in the patient’s wishes. This site includes information and the actual POLST form.

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 not 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 New Jersey Department of Health provides information and guidance for health care professionals and patients. The actual DNR form can be found 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.