Emotional Checkups and Managing your Care
During your visits to the Transplant Institute, our social worker and psychologist will monitor your emotional well-being very closely. We know that behavioral health issues, such as depression and anxiety, can impact quality of life as well as survival after transplantation. A positive outlook is critical for successful surgery, recovery and overall good health.
Identify a Health Care Proxy
After you are accepted as an organ transplant recipient, you should select a health care proxy if you have not already done so.
In Massachusetts, you can name a person to help you make decisions about your health care if your doctor determines you are unable to express your own wishes. The person is called a health care proxy (or a health care agent). Having a health care proxy ensures that you will receive care that respects your wishes and values.
Even if you have a living will, you should also have a health care proxy. Only a health care proxy is formally recognized by Massachusetts law. Generally, a living will details a person's preferences about the use of life-sustaining medical treatments in the event of terminal illness. But a living will does not anticipate all of the complex medical choices that you may face. Nor does a living will identify a person to speak on your behalf.
Also a health care proxy, unlike a living will, is not limited to situations of terminal illness. It enables you to designate someone who can communicate your values and preferences, and who will make sure caregivers follow your wishes.
Please ask your transplant team if you need a copy of the Massachusetts Health Care Proxy form.
Update Your Insurance
We can help you review your insurance policy to be sure it covers the costs of transplant care (including doctor visits, hospital stays, medications and medical tests).
As your treatment progresses, be sure to keep your insurance up-to-date so all of your information is current and accurate. Our social workers and financial coordinator will help you throughout this process.
Once you have been listed for a liver transplant, we invite you to join our weekly Transplant Institute Support Group. This group meets every Wednesday on Farr 10 (the Transplant Inpatient Floor) from 3 to 3:50 p.m. In the support group you can meet patients who are awaiting transplant and patients who have been transplanted. It will also allow you to visit the inpatient unit, and meet the nurses and staff, who will care for you while you recover from your transplant surgery.