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
Heritage 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

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.

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.

Pennsylvania Department of Aging

The PA Department of Aging is responsible for the administration of all Aging programs and services for the commonwealth, promoting prevention and protection for older Pennsylvanians. provides a wealth of information including caregiver support, health and wellness, help at home, housing, insurance, meals, transportation, etc. It also provides related news and resources for professionals and providers.

PA Advance Directives

PA Caring Info provides a collection of up-to-date materials to help with preparing advance health care directives, a durable power of attorney and a living will. These important documents should be considered by everyone so that they can indicate their preferences and remove any doubt about what is desired.

Paying for Senior Care

Pennsylvania has created an entire website devoted to help with understanding financial options related to long term care. This site provides an overview of care options, financial assistance tools, resources and contacts.