Delaware-Specific Information and Guides
The Delaware Health and Social Services Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) has developed a website with FAQs concerning advance care planning in Delaware. http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsaapd/advance.html
DSAAPD is also the state agency with primary responsibility over advance directives. Contact them at 1-800-223-9074 or DSAAPDinfo@state.de.us
The Elder Law Program of the Community Legal Aid Society provides legal assistance (including advance directives) to Delawareans aged 60 and older. Visit the CLASI office nearest you or call the central referral number 1-800-773-0606 and they will connect you to the appropriate office.
The Medical Society of Delaware encourages all patients to do advanced care planning, “designating a power of attorney as that person who would be capable of making decisions for the patient when they are incapable, communicating to family members and the power of attorney to make them aware what their wishes are, and to provide written directives as to their values and what is important to them.” The MSD provides some useful links. http://www.medicalsocietyofdelaware.org/InformationforPatients/AdvancedDirectives/
Delaware Hospice has adapated some planning information from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship’s Cancer Survival Toolbox.
The Delaware End-of-Life Coalition aims to “stimulate public and professional awareness, share knowledge, and create change so that every Delawarean is aware of issues and choices related to the end of life.”
“What If I Can’t Decide for Myself?” by Joanna Wilson, March 30, 2005 Dover Post.
Beebe Medical Center encourages its patients to learn as much about Advance Directives as possible. It provides some information.
Senior Partner provides professional geriatric care management, including power of attorney and health care agent services.
General Information and Guides
ABA Commission on Law & Aging,
Consumer’s Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning
“Having a written advance directive by itself does not ensure that your wishes will be understood and respected. Studies have shown that standard advance directive forms do little to influence end-of-life decisions without: 1) informed, thoughtful reflection about your wishes and values, and 2) personal communication between you and your likely decision-makers before a crisis occurs.”
“Good advance planning for health care decisions is, in reality, a continuing conversation – about values, priorities, the meaning of one’s life, and quality of life. To help you in this process, this tool kit contains a variety of self-help worksheets, suggestions, and resources. There are 10 tools in all, each clearly labeled and user-friendly. The tool kit does not create a formal advance directive for you. Instead, it helps you do the much harder job of discovering, clarifying, and communicating what is important to you in the face of serious illness.”
Aging with Dignity, Five Wishes
“The Five Wishes document helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. It is unique among all other living will and health agent forms because it looks to all of a person’s needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual.”
American Hospital Association, PUT IT IN WRITING BROCHURE
“This AHA resource provides basic facts about advance directives and encourages
patients to explore their preferences for care at the end of life.”
The AARP collects useful articles and links.
April 16, 2009 is National Health Care Decisions Day.
The national site has a wealth of resources and links.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Caring Connections, a program of the NHPCO, is a national consumer and community engagement initiative to improve care at the end of life.
Compassion and Choices
Compassion and Choices provides a range of informational tools to plan for the future. You can also speak to a counselor at 800-247-7421.
Project Grace (Guidelines for Resuscitation and Care at End-of-Life) aims to “empower individuals to implement their specific end-of-life medical treatment decisions.
Center to Advance Palliative Care
Palliative Care is the medical specialty focused on relief of the pain and other symptoms of serious illness. Read stories, and articles, and watch videos.
Center for Practical Bioethics
Caring Conversations is a consumer education initiative that helps individuals and their families share meaningful conversation while making practical preparations for end-of-life decisions.
AGS Foundation for Health in Aging
The American Geriatrics Society Foundation has published the 2nd edition of Eldercare at Home: a Comprensive Online Guide for Family Caregivers.
American Cancer Society
The ACS provides some clear explanations and resources to help you protect your right to refuse or accept medical decisions in case you become unable to make decisions.
There are many advance directive forms available from medical, religious, and legal organizations. Any of the forms below are valid in Delaware, but not all may be in keeping with your beliefs and values. Your advance directive does not have to be on any particular form.
Delaware Official State Advance Directive Form
Caring Connections Advance Directive form for Delaware
Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Catholic Advance Health Care Directive for Delaware
FAQs about the Catholic Advance Health Care Directive
Jewish Advance Directive for Delaware
Aging with Dignity Five Wishes for Delaware
American Living Will Registry Advance Directive for Delaware
HALT (Help Abolish Legal Tyranny) Delaware Form
Do Your Proxy, online tool to create, print, and save forms
National Right to Life, Will to Live