See Important Updates on Health Care Proxy & Witnesses .... MOLST & Verbal Consent .... Guardian's Decision-Making Authority. Read more here.

Let's Plan in Place!

COVID-19 is re-shaping health care. Honoring Choices is helping adults to-

Stay Informed. Make a Plan. Help Your Community.

We have up to date information, easy to use tools, and resources from our Partners.

photos of many ages and ethnicities

Every Spring, the Honoring Choices Partners come together around a shared goal of helping adults make a personal health care plan and connect to good care over their lifetime.  This year the Partner's work takes on a  deeper, more urgent meaning due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Instead of hosting in-person events, our Partners are helping adults to "Plan in Place" and access needed care and support in their community.

Stay Informed

Staying healthy is at the top of everyone’s list. Stay informed with the fast-changing, up to date information —

  • MA Dept. of Public Health Coronavirus website. Link Here

  • CDC- Center for Disease Control webpage. Link Here
  • Healthcentric Advisors offers key information for Medicare beneficiaries. Link Here.
  • COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force. Link Here.
  • Check with your town government for information and local resources

Important Updates

Social distancing and the State of Emergency has created significant barriers to complete your planning documents and receive timely, quality care aligned with your care choices. Honoring Choices is working diligently with the MA Health Care Planning-MOLST Advisor Group and the Guardianship-MOLST Advisory Group to request immediate remedies to ensure everyone receives the best possible care. We are focused on three important requests to the State and Court—

Health Care Proxy

We asked the State to allow telehealth & audio-visual witnessing, when in-person witnessing is not possible.

Request In Process

 

 

MOLST

We asked the State to allow verbal consent of a patient on a MOLST form, when in-person consent is not possible.

Request APPROVED!

Guardians

We asked the Court to help enable Guardians to make timely care decisions & avoid preventable harm.

Request In Process

 

 

 

Make a Health Care Plan

Hispanic mother and daughter

1. Who's Your Agent?

Choose a Health Care Agent in a Health Care Proxy.

signing a Personal Directive

2. What Matters Most?

Write down your care choices in a Personal Directive.

Talking to a doctor.

3. Talk About Your Care.

Talk with your care providers to match care to your choices.

It's simple to do with our signature Who's Your Agent?® program, which offers the Getting Started Tool Kit to start to make your plan, and Next Steps Tool Kit, to build on your plan over your lifetime.

You can do-it-yourself. Start by choosing a Health Care Agent. Your Agent has the power to make health care decisions for you, if you are unable to make decisions yourself, and get you the care you need while you recover. Send a copy of your completed documents to your Agent and primary care physician's office.

The Getting Started Tool Kit makes planning as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Who's Your Agent?  Appoint a trusted person as your Health Care Agent in a MA Health Care Proxy.
    • No Agent? No Problem- just start with Step 2;
    •  What if I can not get 2 witness during Covid-19 State of Emergency? Read more in "Tools & Resources".
  2. What Matters Most?  Write down your instructions for care in a MA Personal Directive (Living Will);
  3. Let's Talk About My Care. Talk with your clinicians, using the 5 Things to Talk About discussion guide, to get good care everyday.

Download a free The Getting Started Tool Kit

Download Translated Health Care Proxy & Personal Directive

View the Next Steps Tool Kit

 

Help Your Community Stay Well

Kindness, humanity and safe connection can go a long way towards improving health and well-being. In this important time of social or physical distancing to keep ourselves and each other healthy, we can still reach to a neighbor, a co-worker, or a community member to stay connected. Here are some thoughts:

  • Check In. Just a simple hello by email, text or by phone can help lift the feelings of isolation or helplessness;
  • Share a meal. For some shopping may be difficult;  many others may not have a reliable food source. Consider dropping off a meal safety at your neighbor's door. You can check with your local food bank about making a financial contribution. See details in Tools & Resources below.
  • Connect with adults most at risk. Check in with adults with chronic and serious illness to see if they have a supply of their regular medications and can still access vital services and treatments. Call local town/city services to help connect adults to needed resources.
  • Share your stories. Tell us what you see and how you are helping your community. We've heard from:
    • Community Centers ... helping with the increased demand forMeals on Wheels and Home Care;
    • A Surgeon ... contributing his time in the Emergency Room as a bi-lingual translator to talk with Spanish speaking patients;
    • Nurses & Care Managers ... calling their high-risk patients to have proactive planning conversations and review planning documents;
    • Volunteer from a local Food Bank ... telling us about the significant rise in demand, and how she is so grateful for financial donations to meet the need.

See Tools & Resources listed below

Planning Tools & Resources

The Honoring Choices Partners share the latest COVID-19 related planning tools and information for care providers and consumers. Scroll down to learn what our Partners are doing to help adults & families in their communities!

Want to share your tools and resources? Just write a short description to post below. Email to Ellen, edipaola@honoringchoicesmass.com

Great Tools & Information!

Get Started with a Health Care Proxy and Personal Directive

3 steps of Whos Your Agent program
Every competent adult, 18yrs/older, can make a plan. You can do-it-yourself with the Getting Started Tool Kit.

Start by choosing a Health Care Agent. Your Agent has the power to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions yourself. Your Agent can get you the care you need, even for a short while you recover. Be sure to mail or fax a copy of your completed documents to your Agent and primary care physician.

The Getting Started Tool Kit makes planning as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Who's Your Agent?  Appoint a trusted person as your Health Care Agent in a MA Health Care Proxy.  No Agent? No Problem- start with Step 2;
  2. What Matters Most?  Write down your instructions for care in a MA Personal Directive (Living Will);
  3. Let's Talk About My Care. Talk with your clinicians, using the 5 Things to Talk About discussion guide, to get good care everyday.

Download a free The Getting Started Tool Kit

Download Translated Health Care Proxy & Personal Directive

"Health Care Proxy: What if I can't find 2 witnesses?"

Given the stay at home advisory order and the COVID-19 State Of Emergency, for many people it has become difficult, if not impossible, to have two witnesses physically present to sign Health Care Proxy. So what can you do? To start, remember that competent adults, 18 years old & older, have a civil right to direct their care decisions and to choose an Health Care Agent in a MA Health Care Proxy. If witnesses are not available during this State of Emergency, you can use the MA Health Care Proxy to create a personal document to choose a Health Care Agent.  Although not a legal document, your personal document is evidence of who you want to be your trusted decision-maker and should be respected by your family and your physicians.

Here's how to create a personal document:

  • Download the MA Health Care Proxy. This document is recognized in MA as the means to communicate your choices;
  • Fill in information and sign the document;
  • In the Witnesses section, write in: "Witnesses not available during the COVID-19 State of Emergency";
  •  You've now created a personal document, not a legal document. Give copies to your Agent, family, and physicians;
  • After the State of Emergency is lifted, you can update your Health Care Proxy and sign in front of two witnesses to create a legal document.
  • Complete your Personal Directive. Tell your Agent what you want for care.

If you are at high risk for COVID-19, you can call your primary care physician to talk about your medical condition and the benefits and risks of treatment decisions. Fill out your Personal Directive, and if you like, complete a MOLST form with your clinician.

UPDATE. Health Care Proxy: Removing Barriers for In-Person Witnessing

Health Care Proxy formHonoring Choices has been overwhelmed with requests from consumers, families, physicians and care professionals looking for options to ensure EVERYONE can exercise their right to complete a Health Care Proxy.  It's never be more important to choose a Health Care Agent in a Health Care Proxy.  However, stay at home advisory orders and restricted visitation to hospitals and care facilities have made it almost impossible to have two witnesses physically present to sign a Health Care Proxy. Additional options are sorely needed.

In light of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, our collaborative MA MOLST/Healthcare Planning Advisory Group recently wrote a letter to respectfully ask the state to remove the barriers of required in-person witnessing that are preventing adults from executing a valid MA Health Care Proxy.

In our letter, we suggest telehealth and telephonic communications can successfully offer an adult the protection of two witnesses while removing the obstacles of in-person signing of documents during the pandemic. Audio-visual conferencing and telephonic communications have become standard practice to initiate health care provider-patient conversations to discuss prognosis, discuss care options and medications, complete care planning documents (ie MOLST form), and make changes to treatment plans as an illness progresses. Even our MA Supreme Judicial Court allows audio-visual conferencing for emergency hearings and depositions during the pandemic

See the Letter to the State from the MA MOLST/Healthcare Planning Advisory Group.

STATUS: IN PROCESS. No changes have been made just yet as the state considers our request.  We will keep you posted!

UPDATE on MOLST Forms: State Allows Verbal Consent on MOLST

BIG NEWS:  As of April 3, and for duration of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the state has suspended the standard requirement of a written signature on a MOLST form (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining treatment), and allows for verbal consent to be documented on the form.  Verbal consent has been written into the EMS Protocols and will be reliably honored by all EMS personnel and licensed practitioners in hospitals, long-term care facilities and across all health care settings. This offers an important remedy for clinicians and patients where face-to-face MOLST conversations are not possible.

Clinicians can now initiate a proactive planning conversation with patients who are seriously ill or at high risk high risk if they contract COVID-19. Clinicians can speak with competent patients, their Health Care Agents and Guardians, via telephonic or virtual means to discuss goals of care and complete or revise a MOLST form with verbal consent. A copy to MOLST is send to the patient or advocates. See EMS Protocols below for instructions on how to document verbal consent on the MOLST form.

Adults who are considered high risk, their Health Care Agents and Guardians, can call their doctor or treating clinician and ask to have a care planning conversation. The clinician can talk about your medical condition and prognosis, review the benefits and risks of treatment options in the event of COVID-19, and make a recommendation given your personal values, goals and care choices. The clinician will  document your care choices on the MOLST form and send you a copy. You can carry your MOLST with you in the event of hospitalization.

Special thanks to Lachlan Forrow, MD and members of our committed MA MOLST and Guardianship-MOLST Advisory Group in sending a letter to the state to request a change in protocols. Read the more here.

Read Emergency Update to the EMS Protocol 7.3  for how to document verbal consent on a MOLST.

See the Letter to the State from the MA MOLST/Healthcare Planning Advisory Group.

STATUS: APPROVED!

 

UPDATE. Guardians: Making Timely Decisions for High Risk Incapacitated Adults

Guardians are appointed by the court to safeguard an incapacitated person's rights and to make health care decisions to ensure they receive the best possible care. For high risk and seriously ill adults, Guardian's must schedule a court hearing to get approval to make life-sustaining treatment decisions and sign a MOLST( Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form.

For high-risk adult patients with a presumptive or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, our physicians report that time is of the essence to clarify care goals and talk about treatment decisions. It can often be a matter of a few hours, or at most a few days, in which physicians and Guardians must make critical decisions to deliver vital care. While the court has made every effort to provide emergency court hearings during the pandemic, we understand Guardians are struggling and additional remedies are needed to ensure every adult receives the best possible care and is not subject to unnecessary harm and suffering.

In a recent letter to the Honorable Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants, our collaborative group respectfully asked the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) to enable Guardians to make timely and appropriate decisions in consultation with treating clinicians regarding an incapacitated person’s goals of care, code status and end-of-life treatment and to sign a MOLST without a prior court hearing, where not possible.

STATUS: IN PROCESS. No changes have been made while the SJC considers our request. We will keep you posted!

Read the Letter to the SJC from MA MOLST/Health Care Planning and Guardianship-MOLST Advisory Group.

¿Quién es su Apoderado? - Plan in Place with translated planning documents

Icon of health care agent flexing muscle Virtually reach to all adults and families in your community.

Our bi-lingual Partners offer culturally sensitive conversations by asking ¿Quién es su Apoderado? (Who's Your Agent?),  and using our Spanish Health Care Proxy and Personal Directive to help adults make a plan.

Additionally, Honoring Choices has  translated Health Care Proxy (9 languages), Personal Directive (Living Will) (3 languages), and wallet cards. Let us know how we can tailor and translate tools to empower adults to choose a Health Care Agent and give their Agent the power to advocate for quality care that aligns with an individual's culture, beliefs, goals and care choices.  View the translated documents for free download here. Contact Ellen for more information, edipaola@honoringchoicesmass.com

Supporting Family Caregivers During COVID-19

Maggie and neighbor standing for a pictureWednesday, May 6, 2020 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm

A Free Webinar Series Convening Massachusetts Employers & Public Leaders:

Hear from caregivers and learn about resources to support them.

During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, the demand and needs placed on family caregivers is greater than ever than before. There are more than 840,000 family caregivers across the Commonwealth providing care to loved ones. In current times that number is significantly larger, with changes in living arrangements and caregiving support.

The Massachusetts Caregivers Coalition is introducing a webinar series to support employers who are looking to better understand the state of caregivers as well as how to best address their needs. In this first webinar of the series, we will address the realities of caregiving during COVID-19 and provide practical resources and strategies. Confirmed speakers and moderators include but are not limited to:

  • Mark Butler, Cigna New England
  • Robin Lipson, Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs
  • Alexandra Drane, ARCHANGELS

Questions? Contact Chris Kealey, Deputy Director at Massachusetts Business Roundtable ckealey@maroundtable.com

REGISTER HERE

Family Caregivers: Take care of yourself and your family

Daughter Emily hugs mom.It's a busy and stressful time for family caregivers, balancing work and caregiving responsibilities.  Many caregivers are surprised to learn that in Massachusetts, a caregiver does not automatically have the legal power to make health care decisions for a competent adult family member unless appointed as a Health Care Agent in a MA Health Care Proxy.

It's never been more important to take care of yourself as you care for your family by making a health care plan. Every competent adult can complete a Health Care Proxy to choose a trusted person as a Health Care Agent, and give their Agent instructions for the kind of care they want in a Personal Directive (Living Will).

Do it for yourself. Help your family member make his/her own plan. Just download the Getting Started Tool Kit with free documents.

For more information and resources for family caregivers in the workplace , go to  Massachusetts Caregivers Coalition.

Cake provides a Plan in Place option: Create & Store Documents On-Line!

CAKE logoCake has is an easy way to make your own plan on-line and document end of life care choices. Here's how it works:

  • Create your own free personal account
  • View and download the Honoring Choices Health Care Proxy and Personal Directive and complete online, OR upload your completed documents to your personal account
  • Access the Cake cards to create your own profile of end of life choices and preferences to store and share

If you have questions you can contactsupport@joincake.com SEE Cake Ovid -19 Resources, click here

Be Prepared in the Time of Covid-19, from Ariadne Labs & The Conversation Project

Daughter is an agent for her momAriadne Labs and The Conversation Project offer a simple free guide to help adults be prepared during our pubic health crisis. The guide highlights three important things you can do right now:

  1. Pick a person to be your Health Care Agent;
  2. Talk about what matters most to you;
  3. Think about what you would want if you become serious ill with Covid-19.

Click here to download  Be Prepared in the Time of Covid-19 guide

Serious Illness Care Program’s COVID-19 Response Toolkit, from Ariadne Labs

To support clinicians in having difficult conversations with patients at high risk for serious complications of COVID-19, Ariadne Labs has developed the Serious Illness Care Program’s COVID-19 Response Toolkit. The guide will help clinicians engage in compassionate conversations with high-risk patients about how they can best protect themselves and help them understand what matters most to each patient in the context of COVID-19.

The tools kit includes:

Click here to Download the COVID-19 Response Toolkit

Covid-19 and Advanced Care Planning, with the MA Coalition for Serious Illness Care

Communicating with the Public about COVID-19 and Advance Care Planning (ACP)

Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care (Coalition) is working with local and national partners to provide public messaging guidance to support appropriate advance care planning at this time and create a consistent set of language for organizations to draw from. They invite everyone to use the following messaging and social media posts in your work, adapt as needed and share with others in your network.

Here's the LINK to their tool kit

Engage High-Risk Adults in Proactive Planning Conversations with Respecting Choices Tools

Just in time! Respecting Choices® Offers Suite of Open-Source Care Planning Tools in Response to COVID-19

Respecting Choices logoPeople who are considered high-risk for coronavirus-related complications are feeling especially vulnerable. Respecting Choices has developed a toolkit for clinicians to engage in proactive conversations about treatment preferences before a medical crisis. There are also tools for consumers and Health Care Agents. The Respecting Choices® COVID-19 tools and resources below will support these important conversations. They are currently free and open to all based on the Creative Common License.

For Clinicians:

For Individuals and Health Care Agents

Tools to support specific treatment decisions in high risk individuals

Click here to see the full suite of tools, information and  guides.

 

NEW: Health Care Proxy App for Beth Israel Lahey Health Patients

Beth Israel Lahey Health(BILH) has made it simpler than ever for their patients to choose a trusted person to ensure your wishes are respected when you are unable to speak for yourself. BILH patients can download the BIDMC Health Care Proxy app to complete a Health Care Proxy- it's quick and easy.

The BIDMC Health Care Proxy mobile app allows you to complete the Massachusetts Health Care Proxy form electronically and share it with your loved ones and healthcare team at BIDMC.

To get started:

  • Search for BIDMC Health Care Proxy in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
  • Download the app on your tablet or smart phone

Read more here.

 

The Conversation Project: Start a conversation about what matters most.

The Conversation Project Tool Kits help adults talk about end of life care and what matters most. We combined our tools this year so adults can:

Learn more. Joint initiative with The Conversation Project.

Palliaitve Care COVID-19 Response Resources from CAPC

Center to Advance Palliative Care, CAPC, is providing a free tool kit and great resources in response to Covid-19, and has made online courses available to the public. CAPC is also collecting best practices and tools from palliative care team . Let them know how you are helping adults and families in your community.

The tools and resources include:

Click here to read more.

Partners News & Resources

Our Partners share the latest information, resources and the important ways they are helping adults and families in their community. Tell us what you are doing and we'll post it below. Email Ellen, edipaola@honoringchoicesmass.com

Medicare Reimburses More Clinicians to Start Proactive Conversations

Healthcentric Advisors, an Honoring Choices Partner, advised us in April that Medicare was reimbursing Physicians (MD), Nurse Practitioners (NP), and Physician's Assistants (PA) for proactive advance care planning conversations using audio- visual telehealth phone calls. As of May 1, 2020 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, announced new waivers that include:

Audio-Only (Phone) Telehealth.

CMS allows for audio-only  calls (i.e. telephones), waiving the video requirement.  Clinicians can be reimbursed for starting planning conversations using the Advance Care Planning (ACP) codes (CPT codes 99498 & 99498). It enables care providers to reach to a greater group of people using land lines and audio only.

Expanded Providers Can Start Conversations

CMS is expanding the types of clinical practitioners that can start planning conversations, waiving the requirement that reimbursable calls be limited to MDs, NPs, PAs. Now other practitioners are able to initiate planning calls including clinical social workers, registered nurses, certified hospital chaplains physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists.

Read more here.

Expanded Telehealth Benefits for Medicare Beneficiaries

The federal government announced expanded Medicare telehealth coverage that will enable beneficiaries to receive a wider range of healthcare services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. It includes clinician reimbursement for telehealth advance care planning conversations! Read the press release, frequently asked questions, and fact sheet. Thanks to Honoring Choices Alliance Partner Healthcentric Advisors for keeping Massachusetts and the New England states up to date on ever evolving critical information.  Read more information here.

Patients "Extremely Grateful" for Proactive Planning Conversations

In the first few weeks of the epidemic, Baystate Health nurses called 5,000 patients at high risk for COVID-19 to start proactive conversations.  The nurse and patient talked about how the patient was feeling in this stressful time, reviewed health concerns and access to medications, and helped schedule a telehealth visit if needed. The nurses also opened care planning conversations to help with a Health Care Proxy and/or MOLST form.  Although some of the nurses were initially concerned about how patients might respond,  they found the majority of patients "extremely grateful for the outreach call and the opportunities to talk about these issues." 

Here's a note from a nurse to her colleagues and administrators:

"I reached out to a patient this morning as part of our Pandemic Outreach, and just want to let you know how appreciative she is that our office is doing this.  We discussed that her Health Care Proxy was up to date. I noticed she did not have an active MOLST  form in her chart. After explaining the MOLST,  she decided she would LOVE a phone visit to discuss this with her doctor. She was a little concerned that she didn't know what questions where going to be asked, and after discussing them with me, we decided I would mail her out some information to review beforehand. The patient was extremely grateful and wanted everyone to know how AWESOME she thought the call was, and she really couldn't stress enough how appreciative she was for the reach out."

 

Taking Care of the Emotional Needs of Care Providers

The Peer Support Staff at the Betsy Lehman Center has complied a wonderful list of tools and resources for clinicians, staff, and managers to support your vital work and manage stress.  This thoughtful, comprehensive list also includes additional resources on mindfulness and relaxation.

View here.

 

Tips for Dementia Caregivers from the Alzheimer's Association

Alzheimer's Association logo"Most likely, dementia does not increase risk for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, just like dementia does not increase risk for flu. However, dementia-related behaviors, increased age and common health conditions that often accompany dementia may increase risk", says a great new posting from the Alzheimer's Association, and Honoring Choices Alliance Partner.  Our Partners are reporting concerns with physical distancing while helping adults stay connected. Here are tools and resources on their new webpage:

Adults, family and caregivers can call the 24/7 Helpline : 1 800 272-3900

Read the full webpage here.

24/7 Helpline. Let's talk about the challenges of dementia

Alzheimer's Association logo

The Alzheimer's Association's 24/7 Helpline is available at 1-800-272-3900 to anyone who needs to talk about the challenges of dementia during this time.  Their Helpline staff are available around the clock for any questions or concerns you might have. They can help address feelings of isolation, and link  to important resources that can help though this time.

Virtual ALZ Meetups Educational programs and Support Groups are now available on diverse topics. Click on the  website for more information.

Adults, family and caregivers can call the 24/7 Helpline : 1 800 272-3900

 

Share A Meal: Donate to Community Food Banks

During this public health emergency,  adults in your town, city or community may not have a reliable healthy food source. Consider making a food or financial donation to your local food pantry or food bank. Please call ahead to see if they are accepting food donations. Here are other resources to support with a financial contribution:

  • State List of Local Food Banks. Link
  • The Greater Boston Food Bank. Link
  • Project Bread. Link
  • Boston Medical Center Food Bank. Link
  • The Greater Food Bank of Western MA. Link
  • Worcester County Food Bank. Link

Thank you to Tufts Health Plan Foundation for supporting food banks and community services. See next section below.

 

Tufts Health Plan Foundation supports greater food access duirng Covid-19

Tufts Health Plan Foundation has identified the first 21 organizations to receive support from the $1 million it has committed to community efforts on behalf of older people affected by coronavirus in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Their first wave of funding directly helps address food insecurity in our communities.

Here are the Massachusetts organizations who received funding, and who are diligently working on the front lines to improve food access during the Covid-19 health crisis:

  • The Boston Foundation, COVID-19 Response Fund
  • The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
  • The Greater Boston Food Bank
  • Union Capital Boston, COVID-19 Fund
  • Watertown Community Foundation, Community Resilience Fund
  • Watertown Food Pantry (via Watertown Council on Aging)
  • Worcester County Food Bank

Read more here

Helping Adults Complete a Health Care Proxy and Durable Power of Attorney

Attorney Amy Hudspeth Cabell, Hudspeth Cabell Law, LLC, an Honoring Choices Partner, has been reminding adults about the importance of completing a Health Care Proxy. She has made the Honoring Choices Health Care Proxy link available to essential workers and those on the “front lines” such as supermarket workers, transit drivers, as well as health care providers.  She is assisting in completing those forms and providing witnesses via social distancing procedures.  She is offering a durable power of attorney document, at no charge, to those individuals.  And for those who already have these documents in place,  Amy offers a no charge review to make sure the documents are current and still meet their needs. Thank you Amy!  Amy Hudspeth Cabell, Esq., Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, (781) 705-7300; Amy@HudspethCabellLaw.com

 

Meeting the Community Need at HESSCO

HESSCO, an Honoring Choices Community Partner,  is an Aging Services Access Point (ASAP) and Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for South Norfolk County. They serve consumers in Canton, Dedham, Norwood, Foxboro, Westwoood, Medfield, Millis, Norfolk, Plainview, Sharon, Walpole, Wrentham.

HESSCO is continuing to provide essential programs since Governor Baker announced a Stay at Home Advisory for Massachusetts. They are helping ensure that our most vulnerable older adults receive vital care and services, such as:

  • Meals on Wheels, which delivers hot meals Monday-Friday;
  • In-Home Care Program, proving supports and services;
  • Caregiver Specialist phone consultation, to support family caregivers.

GOOD NEWS: They can accommodate new referrals to Meals on Wheel and In-Home Care Program. Call 781-784-4944.

HESSCO is having an outpouring of support for volunteers at the ready to deliver meals or critical supplies. Consider volunteering or making a monetary donation to help them cope with this pandemic. Read more here 

 

Telehealth and Proactive Care Planning

The Valley Medical Group, an Honoring Choices Partner, has come together to support each other and their patients during this pandemic. All four health centers in Amherst, Easthampton, Northhampton and Greenfield  are open and provide patients with video and telephone visits, as well as in-house appointments when needed.  Their ACP Committee has been communicating with staff and providers about continuing to help adults complete a Health Care Proxy and if needed a MOLST form. “We are appreciative of the role Honoring Choices has taken in advocating at the state level to waive consent requirements so we can help our most vulnerable patients be prepared during this health crisis", says Stephanie Pick, RN, BSN, MA, Special Projects Manager, Valley Medical Group. See the website for more innovative ways Valley Medical is serving adults and families.

Care Dimensions: Empowering adults & families

Months of April, May, June

“Timing is Everything“ and  “Living Forever- Not an Option”; Learning Institute's Free Resources.

Hosted by Care Dimensions

For consumers and care providers.  Care Dimensions will feature the Honoring Choices programs and tools on their cable show “Timing is Everything “ and their podcast “Living Forever- Not an Option” to empower adults to make a plan and reach out for good care.  Care Dimensions just launched their  Learning Institute to deliver education, workshops and resources on end-of-life topics such as hospice and palliative care, bereavement, advance care planning, and living with advanced illness. Whether you are a patient with a life-limiting illness, the loved one of a patient, a caregiver, a grieving family or a health care provider, you can  learn more and view resources. Read more here.

"Healthcare Planning Throughout Your Life" with Mass Health & Hospital Association

Patient Care Link logoMonths of April- May, year round

For everyone! Patient Care Link provides a wealth of health care & safety information for hospitals & home care for patients, families and health care providers.  Click here to learn how to:

  • "Empower Patients to Make Health Care Choices";
  • "Care for Patients with Alzheimer's Disease";
  • "Start a Palliative Care Discussion";
  • Explore topics and tools that advance healthcare quality and safety.

PatientCareLink is a joint venture of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA)Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA, RI, NH, CT, VT (ONL),  Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts (HCA) and Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI). Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) and Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts (HCA) are Honoring Choices Partners. We proudly support their work in helping all adults make a health care plan and access quality care all through their lives.

Be healthy and live well in your community, with Age -and Dementia Friendly MA

MA Age and Dementia FriendlyEvery town & city, business and employer can improve the way adults stay healthy and live well in their community. We've combined tools with our Age-and Dementia Friendly MA partners so you can:

Learn More. Joint initiative with Age -and Dementia Friendly MA

 

Workshops & More

"Pastries & Planning"- Show your appreciation!

National Health Care Decisions month is celebrated by care providers Here's an idea for your staff who are first responders, nurses, doctors, social workers and care managers working shifts to keep us all well and healthy.

Take a moment to safely provide some food — whether its pastries, pizza, or potluck dinner — and planning tools so everyone can make their own personal health care plan.

Download the Getting Started Tool Kit here

"Ambassador Workshop for Independant Living Centers" with MA Rehabilitation Commission

April 10, 2020, 10:00-11:30am, Fall River, MA

Health Care Planning Ambassador Zoom Workshop,  Independent Living Centers

For MRC staff. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) helps individuals with disabilities to live and work independently. MRC provides comprehensive services that maximize quality of life and economic self-sufficiency, while promoting equality, empowerment and independence of individuals with disabilities. Anna Hermann, Independent Living Programs Supervisor, is hosting an Ambassador Workshop for Independent Living Centers Care Coordinators to confidently start planning conversations  and help ensure all adults can make a personal health care plan and receive care that honors their care choices.  Read more about MRC here.

"Pizza and Planning" at the Westwood Council on Aging- On HOLD

June 1, 2020, 12:00 Noon- 1:30pm

Make a plan with the Getting Started Tool Kit

Westwood Council on Aging, 60 Nahatan St., Westwood, Ma 02090

Signups start on May 1st. RSVP’s appreciated, please call 781-329-8799

Hosted by Westwood Council on Aging; Sponsor Edelweiss VIllage

For Community Members. The Westwood Council on Aging, an Honoring Choices Partner,  is teaming up with sponsor Edelweiss Village in West Roxbury, to invite the community to share a slice of pizza and learn about starting a personal health care plan. Participants will receive a “Getting Started Tool Kit” which includes a free MA Health Care Proxy and Personal Directive (Living Will), as well as a guide called “5 Things to Talk About” to assist with conversations with health care providers.