Long-term care planning and insurance is becoming more common, but not all policies are legal in New York State. To avoid being taken advantage of, call the New York State Department of Aging Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (also known as HIICAP) at 212-333-5511. The information is free and confidential. For insurance questions other than long-term insurance, call the New York State Insurance Department at 800-342-3736.

There is no waiting list to get into Silvercrest. Each day we review our availability and send notices out to area hospitals. For the latest bed availability, please call 718-480-4007.

Yes. Use the optional organ and tissue donation section on the healthcare proxy form and be sure to have the section witnessed by two people. You may specify that your organs and/or tissues be used for transplantation, research or educational purposes. Any limitations associated with your wishes should be noted in this section of the proxy. Failure to include your wishes and instructions on your healthcare proxy form will not be taken to mean that you do not want to be an organ/tissue donor.

Give a copy to your agent, your doctor, your attorney and any other family members or close friends that you choose. Keep a copy in your wallet or purse or with other important papers, but not in a location where no one can access it, like a safe deposit box. Bring a copy if you are admitted to the hospital, even for minor surgery, or if you undergo outpatient surgery.

No. A living will is a document that provides specific instructions about healthcare decisions. You may also put such instructions on your healthcare proxy form. The healthcare proxy allows you to choose someone you trust to make healthcare decisions for you. Unlike a living will, a healthcare proxy does not require that you know in advance all the decisions that may arise. Instead your healthcare agent can interpret your wishes as medical circumstances change and can make decisions on matters you may not have foreseen.