Valley Health System strives to be a source of information and support to you and your family during a chronic illness and death.

Either before or during an illness, some may want to consider what life-saving measures they would want and how they would like to experience death. The case management and social work staff can speak with you and your family about documenting your instructions for future medical care in an advance directive, provide care options for chronic conditions to keep you comfortable (known as palliative care) and end-of-life care or hospice. In addition, we will continue to provide emotional support and bereavement to your family.

Advance Directives

Download The Valley Hospital’s Advance Directive Form
Download The Valley Hospital's Advance Directive Form (Spanish)

An advance directive is a written statement expressing your personal values, beliefs and wishes related to medical treatment and dying. It is important to speak with family members or significant others about the types of care or treatments you would or wouldn't want.

Upon each admission into the hospital, you will be asked if you have an Advance Directive. If you do, you will be requested to provide a copy for your medical record. If not, you will be asked if you would like to complete one. For some, the thought of the end of life may not necessarily be on your mind, such as if you are having a baby or having a routine surgery performed. But Valley Health System wants to provide you with the opportunity to be educated and to complete an Advance Directive if you choose.

Under New Jersey Law, there are three types of Advance Directives:

  • Proxy Directive names a person to make healthcare decisions when you no longer can. This person is then your “healthcare proxy” or “healthcare power of attorney.”
  • Instruction Directive is a written expression of your desires/instructions for treatment, commonly referred to as a “Living Will.”
  • Combined Directive allows you to name your healthcare proxy and gives instructions for treatment.

Legal Services of New Jersey – Advance Directives
AARP – Caregiving Tips for Creating Advance Directives
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Bar Association - Health Care Decision Making
Conversations of a Lifetime
Aging With Dignity – Five Wishes
NJ Goals of Care Coalition of New Jersey
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
NJ Department of Health – Advance Directives
The Conversation Project
U.S. Living Will Registry
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) 
The New Jersey POLST (Practitioner Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) is a state-approved form that complements advance directives, addresses the goals of care, and is medically actionable across the continuum of care. The POLST represents previous discussions about end-of-life care and preferences for medical interventions, and is portable and honorable in all healthcare settings.  

National POLST Paradigm
Provides basic information on POLST and how it has helped patients and families

NJ Goals of Care
Provides downloadable Advance Directives and POLST forms

Palliative Care


Hospice is a concept of caring for terminally ill people of all ages when one’s disease can no longer be reversed or cured and one has a life expectancy of months, not years. Patients receive medical care and symptom relief. Patients and their family receive psychological, social and spiritual support and treatment. The family will continue to receive these services after the patient’s death.

Patient and/or family members may request to speak with a social worker or member of the hospice care team about hospice care options. If hospice is chosen, the social worker will coordinate your hospice care with your physician, nurse, family, the hospice agency, the facility and insurance.

Learn more about Valley Hospice. – Hospice and Respite Care
American Hospice Foundation
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization – Hospice 
Children’s Hospice International
Growth House, Inc. – End-of-Life Care Resources
The Joint Commission
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization