Advance care planning is a guided conversation about end-of-life wishes, values, and preferences. Once that initial conversation takes place between loved ones, the next step is to put it in writing. This written document is called an Advance Directive. It tells physicians and caregivers how to care for a patient when that person is no longer able to make health decisions for him or herself. It also appoints a person to make health care decisions on his or her behalf.
The Advance Directive is an important part of a person’s medical record. In the event of a serious accident or health emergency, physicians need to know how to respond.
Honoring Choices Minnesota is a statewide initiative that aims to encourage all Minnesotans age 18 and over to complete a health care directive. A downloadable copy of the form is available in several different languages on their web site at www.HonoringChoices.org.
Rice Memorial Hospital has trained volunteers who offer free counseling services on how to fill out the Advance Directive form, as well as how to “start the conversation” with family members.
Register for your free Advance Directive counseling session 320.231.4069Download a Health Care Directive (pdf)