Home > For Patients & Caregivers > Advance Care Planning

Honoring Your Wishes with Dignity

Doctor.jpg

Advance Care Planning

Know your options and document your decisions. 

Hospice is here to help educate you and your family about advance directives and advance care planning. We can also help you take the right steps toward having difficult conversations with your loved ones and making your health care wishes known.

A Health Care Proxy will ensure your wishes are honored if and when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Your decision to accept or reject medical treatment, including life-sustaining procedures, ultimately depends upon your personal wishes, values, and beliefs. Using an Advance Directive form, such as a Health Care Proxy, will help your family and friends understand your wishes and will give both you and them peace of mind.

Everyone over the age of 18 needs to appoint a Health Care Proxy* for these two situations: 

1. Temporary inability to make health care decisions can happen no matter what your age. That’s because unexpected events can happen at any time. And, often during these events  a health care decision needs to be made, even if you’re not able to voice those decisions for yourself. (For example, when having an outpatient surgical procedure and are under general anesthesia.) If you have a Health Care Proxy, decisions will be made according to your wishes — even if you are temporarily unable to make your own requests. Once you become conscious, your Health Care Proxy no longer has any authority to act.

2. Permanent inability to make healthcare decisions. This would arise if you were comatose from a terminal illness, in a persistent vegetative state, suffered from an illness that left you unable to communicate or, if elderly, suffered from senile dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

If you don't have a Health Care Proxy, all appropriate medical treatments would be provided to you. If you’ve appointed a Health Care Proxy, that person would represent your voice and act on your behalf in making healthcare decisions for you according to your pre-determined wishes or best interests.

*The New York Health Care Proxy Law encourages you to appoint someone you trust — such as a family member or close friend — to make health care decisions for you if you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. Appointing a health care agent and discussing your wishes with them helps ensure that health care providers follow your requests.

Request A Speaker

Click to download:

The Conversation Starter Kit

New York Health Care Proxy 

 Sharing Your Wishes Guide 

We’re here to help you communicate your wishes.

Your wishes should be written down in an Advance Directive so that others know your decisions. That’s why we encourage documentation of your hospice and palliative care health care plan according to your wishes. Our team of experts can help facilitate and adhere to your end-of-life requests by using an Advance Directive. Two Advance Directive forms commonly used in New York State include the New York Health Care Proxy and Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST). MOLST is intended for patients with serious health conditions who:

  • Want to avoid receiving any or all life-sustaining treatment
  • Reside in a long-term care facility or require long-term care services 
  • Might die within the next year 

Designate a Health Care Proxy Today!

Ask your doctor for your MOLST form, inform your chosen Health Care Proxy of your decision, and discuss your wishes today. We’re here with answers if you have any questions about Advance Care Planning, or if you would like a representative to speak to your group or organization.


Become an advocate for Advance Care Planning 

National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16.

Learn more 

  • "The help we received while my husband was sick at home was terrific and the counseling I received for the last 13 months after his passing was wonderful. I miss you all very much."
    – Lois, Tonawanda
  • "A very attentive staff that is non- intrusive, yet extremely attentive. The staff really goes out of their way to make sure you have everything you need for this transition. My mother passed on July 23rd. The final prayer was comforting and very well spoken. I really think highly of this place because I've never seen a group of people that really tend to your loved ones so delicate. Thank you Hospice Buffalo for doing so much for my family."
    – Pubg Hero
  • "Wonderful staff! They made the process so much easier for me and my family. I couldn’t thank them any more for taking great care of my mother. Thank you all!"
    – Sissy Driscoll
  • "They are all so caring and compassionate. Even the woman who cleaned my husband's room was so sweet and caring. I can't say enough good things about Hospice Buffalo."
    – Teresa Raiff Izzo
  • “I really didn’t think anyone could help me until Home Connections became involved. Dr. Kerr visited me and gave his undivided attention, focusing on my symptoms and less on my disease. I finally feel like I will get back to normal one day. When the nurse from Home Connections came in, I felt so much relief that she was able to help communicate with all of my doctors. It’s very stressful to have to do all of that on my own. I cannot thank Home Connections enough for working to get me a new mattress. I can't believe someone would do this for me!”
    – Kim, Home Connections patient
  • "Hospice has offered me great comfort as I carry heavy grief. It is a sacred place for me; a place I still visit to visit with my Angels. Thank you Hospice for always being there for me."
    – Stacy Schwab
  • "My sister and my friends have been at Hospice and passed there. It is the most peaceful, compassionate place to be for the last days! You are welcome to visit at any hour! When I have seen others pass recently I thought ‘Why weren’t they at Hospice?’ They have a special staff there uniquely qualified for a special calling. God bless them and let us keep it going!"
    – Cindy Trojanowsky
  • “We are so thankful for the angels sent to our family through Essential Care, for Matthew's wonderful, loving personality,
    the time we have as a family, and our faith.”
    – Linda Evans
  • "What an amazing place to trust the end-of-life care of a loved one."
    – James Kelly
  • 'Hospice in its entirety is a wonderful organization. Once my dad had stopped chemo, he had hospice coming to the house for 3 months or so. All of the people, from nurses to social workers to the chaplain, were so caring of him and the family. Once things got too bad, he was admitted to the hospice facility and everyone there was just as wonderful. They were caring and respectful of my dad and of our family. I want to thank all involved with them for making the end a little easier."
    – Michael John
  • "I can’t say enough good things about Hospice Care! The care my mother was given was actually loving care. They did not treat her differently because she was in her 80s; they still took care of her. They all were wonderful, making sure she was turned when she was supposed to be, always made sure she was comfortable, talked to her as she was, a human being, even though she couldn’t talk anymore. Mom knew she was now in good care and so did we. They always made sure the family was doing OK also. I call them angels on Earth! Thank you for caring!"
    – Bernadette Spinnegan
  • "Hospice made my dad’s last days more comfortable. But more importantly, they made things easier for my mother."
    – Rick Mahoney
  • "Music was a very important part of my family's life. I loved my mother's smile, and music therapy made her smile, every time, all the time. The music therapist often welcomed others in the nursing home to join in, giving my mother extra socialization. I will always be grateful for the care my mother received through Hospice Buffalo and the special extras like music therapy."
    – Lisa Feldman
  • "Been a volunteer since my grandfather passed in Hospice due to the phenomenal care from Hospice. 100%."
    – Audra Hollander
  • It was nice to know I could finally relax and trust a group of really caring folks.
    – Nancy, Buffalo
  • “Imagine the miracle of someone saying to you, ‘Don’t worry about anything. If you need a doctor’s appointment or something from the grocery store, call me and I will have a volunteer pick it up for you. If you need somebody to help you with anything, call me. We are here for you.’ Such comforting words from my Social Worker.”
    – Shirley Rosenthal, Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo Patient
  • "I would like to thank Hospice on behalf of myself and my family. They cared for my father while he was in the facility. Great staff and it really takes special people to care for the patients in the facility. They are helpful to the families as well. My dad was very comfortable until the end."
    – The Taylor Family
  • I wish I could personally thank each person that helped us with my dad (if you knew him when he was well, you would have enjoyed his humor and zest for life)
    – Deborah
  • "Mom lost her battle with cancer today. The beautiful people and facilities that comprise Hospice made her last days full of love and dignity. I cannot properly express what it meant to our family. I'll never forget it."
    – Rebecca Richter Bonk
  • I admire all the people involved in Hospice. They are very strong and very tender...I know...had them for my wonderful husband Nick.
    – Evelyn, Buffalo
  • "Shout out to Hospice Buffalo home health Team 5 who has been helping us with dad the past couple of months. They sent him a nice Veteran’s Day card with a star from an old flag. They are all so nice from his two aids, nurse, social worker, massage and music therapist, who sings and plays guitar, and even the volunteer who cut his hair along with my sister, sister-in-law and brother. It takes a village! But I know he appreciates the help and company, and being able to stay in his home. Update: Hospice continues to be kind to my dad. I know Medicare pays for expenses and that is wonderful too but the care given is great. He turned 94 on the December 3rd. Hospice brought him nice cards, a lap blanket, and his favorite chocolate cake with chocolate frosting! Thanks again!"
    – Lynda Gordon
  • "I've had several family and friends assisted through Hospice Buffalo. Each situation was unique to the other, but Hospice and their caring professionals were amazing in each."
    – Vickie Eberth
  • "A wonderful place! The staff is very caring and compassionate, not only to the patient but their families too. I can’t thank them enough."
    – Janice Marie
  • "I absolutely love Hospice! The people that help us are all amazing. I've never been able to rely on people like I do with the group that is helping us. Everyone is on top of everything. The nicest people to deal with! I can't thank them enough."
    – Debbie M. Rich
  • "Hospice Buffalo is amazing! The in-home care and now the acute care my grandfather is receiving is the best. They are so supportive and such special people. Not only are they taking care of my sick grandfather but also taking care of us, the family, and checking in to make sure we ate too and be there for us to ask any questions. So thankful for Hospice Buffalo."
    – Ashley Marcantonio
  • "Not coming here but if you need the care this is a great place! The staff is unreal! They show in every way they are not robots they truly care! The facility is very comforting!"
    – Joe Caulfield Sr.