Gramatan Village Hosts
Advanced Care Planning Seminar

Nicole Serra, Ella Guy, LaToya Sealy. Photo credit: Kwee Huang

by Jayne Meath


On Monday, January 23rd, twenty Bronxville residents gathered in the Yeager Room at the Bronxville Public Library to attend a seminar hosted by Gramatan Village on the topic of Advanced Care Planning. Three members of the New York Presbyterian Palliative Care Team explained the importance of having advanced directives in place before a medical crisis happens. LaToya Sealy, a nurse practitioner with 19 years of experience, said that having one’s desires for end-of-life care known and put in writing before they are needed reduces the burden on loved ones and results in everything going more smoothly if the patient is unable to express their desires themself.


The most important advanced care documents one must have in place are:


1. a healthcare proxy

2. a living will

3. a MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) and

4. an at home DNR (Do not resuscitate) order.


Nicole Serra, a social worker with 25 years of experience, commented that the healthcare proxy you choose should be someone you know very well, who lives close by and who is good under pressure. All three of the panelists agreed that this person may or may not be your spouse. 


The MOLST form was also highlighted. This form is a comprehensive document explaining which life-sustaining treatments, if any, you wish to avoid and/or receive should you be unable to voice those wishes yourself. It also includes a DNR. Ella Guy, a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner with 16 years of nursing experience, emphasized that in the absence of a documented healthcare proxy, a MOLST, living will or a DNR order, healthcare providers must rely on the next of kin (in order: spouse, children, parents, sibling) to make decisions regarding treatment if the patient is unable to communicate their preferences. 


This very informative seminar is one of many offered by Gramatan Village. Gramatan Village, in partnership with NY Presbyterian-Westchester, will be holding their next public seminar, “Give Your Heart Some Love”, tips on how to keep your heart healthy, at the Bronxville Public Library, on Wednesday, February 15 at 2pm.


Copies of the Health Care Proxy form or a MOLST form, can both be obtained at the Gramatan Village office located at 85 Pondfield Road.