Advanced Care Planning & Health Care Directives
For advance care planning information and assistance,
What is advance care planning?
It is a guided conversation about health care wishes and preferences in case of a serious health event or end-of-life situation. The result is a communicated plan and a health care directive in your medical record. Advance care planning and completing a health care directive is recommended for all persons age 18 and older.
What is the difference between advance care planning and a health care directive?
- Advance care planning is a process of understanding, reflection, and discussion to identify what is most important to you concerning quality of life and medical care. There is no “right” or “wrong” in advance care planning. Your own values guide your care preferences.
- A health care directive is a written document that explains what you want your care to be if unable to make decisions for yourself. Your directive also appoints a person to make health care decisions on your behalf. This document is an important part of your medical record.
Why should I do advance care planning?
Advance care planning aims at being better prepared for unknown healthcare dilemmas. While these conversations can be difficult to begin, it is important – before a crisis occurs – to communicate your values and preferences for medical care, and to identify who will make decisions if you cannot decide or speak for yourself.
What are the steps in advance care planning? Having a meaningful advance care planning conversation to discuss and explore values and key care options takes time. You want to make certain the people you love and trust are included in this conversation. After you have discussed your preferences, your next step is choosing your health care agent. The last part of this planning process is completing a health care directive.
Where can I find a health care directive form?
Click HERE to download the Honoring Choices Minnesota health care directive.
Health care directives are also available at Northfield Hospital & Clinics locations. For forms in Spanish, Russian, Hmong and Somali, go to http://www.metrodoctors.com/dev/index.php/healthcare-directives.
Is assistance available? For information and assistance with advance care planning and health care directives, please contact a Northfield Hospital & Clinics social worker at 507-646-1314.
Additional information about Honoring Choices Minnesota is found at www.honoringchoices.org.