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National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16 gives Minnesotans and their family members an opportunity to look at a range of future health care and long-term care needs.
The day is part of a national initiative to encourage adults of all ages to plan before a health crisis so families know what a loved one who is ill and cannot communicate would want. Another goal is to encourage health care providers to discuss advance care planning with their patients.
The day can also be a time to start planning for future long-term care needs, which is the objective of Own Your Future, an initiative of the Dayton-Prettner Solon Administration.
“Planning ahead for the care most of us will need as we grow older gives us peace of mind, more choices and control,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “In addition to being a day to complete your health care directive, National Healthcare Decisions Day can be a good time to talk about how and where you want to get long-term care and how you plan to pay for it.”
Throughout the day on April 16, DHS staff will provide copies of the advance care directive form along with information about the Own Your Future initiative in the lobbies of their offices at 540 Cedar St. and 444 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. Filling out an advance care directive form may include designating a health care agent to communicate on your behalf, indicating preferences about special end-of-life treatments and pain management, as well as directions about organ donations and other considerations.
Health care directives are available at health care providers’ offices or the Honoring Choices Minnesota website, www.honoringchoices.org. Planning for long-term care needs can begin with a trip to the Own Your Future website, www.mn.gov/ownyourfuture.