Archive for July, 2010

Family Health Care Decisions Act

Legislation was recently enacted to expand the possibilities for surrogate health care decision-making in New York State. The Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA) allows family members or other persons close to a patient (health care surrogates) to make medical decisions for a loved one even if that person has not signed a Health Care Proxy.  While the Health Care Proxy has been available since 1991, allowing for appointment of a health care agent to make medical decisions for us, many residents have failed to execute Health Care Proxies. The FHCDA is helpful because it provides for the appointment of an agent to make medical decisions in the event someone is unable to make these decisions and has not executed a Health Care Proxy.

Coping With The Loss of A Spouse

The passing of a beloved spouse is an awful thing.  The emotional loss coupled with the disappearance of the day to day companionship leaves the surviving spouse trying to fill a cavernous space.  In her June 15, 2010 New York Times column, Jane E. Brody  writes of the challenging job a surviving spouse has in making an emotional adjustment to the loss.  I think you will find the column interesting and you can access it at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/health/15brod.html. Ms. Brody not only addresses the difficulties of the emotional issues surrounding the loss of a spouse but  she concludes her column by remarking on the concerns many widows and widowers have in regard to what will happen as they age and perhaps grow ill and require long-term care. This is a real concern.  One way to assuage these fears is to learn about what the options are in regard to receiving long-term care and how to pay for long-term care.