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Healthcare Decisions Day time to plan for future needs

Health care planning a key component of the state’s Own Your Future initiative

April 15, 2013

Jeremy Drucker
DHS Communications

PDF version of news release

Tomorrow is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a time for Minnesotans and their family members to discuss both advance health care directives and plans for their retirement and need for care. This planning is a key component of the state’s Own Your Future initiative, an effort to encourage Minnesotans to start planning for their future long term care needs.

“Planning ahead instead of waiting for a crisis can give individuals and their families’ peace of mind now and choices and control later when major life events occur,” Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said. “National Healthcare Decisions Day is the perfect time to review or complete a health care directive and start a conversation with family members about your choices for advanced care. This can also be a good time to talk about how to ‘Own Your Future’ by deciding how and where you want to get long-term care services and how you plan to pay for them.”

Jesson plans to observe National Healthcare Decisions Day at an event cosponsored by Hamline University Health Law Institute and William Mitchell College of Law. She will join attorneys and law students 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at William Mitchell, 875 Summit Ave., St. Paul, providing free assistance to anyone who wants to complete an advance health care directive. It typically takes less than one hour to complete the form, which may include indicating preferences about special end-of-life treatments and pain management, as well as directions about organ donations and other considerations.

“In our role regulating nursing homes, we know firsthand how important this issue is. We hear heartbreaking stories from families who tell us how their loved-ones’ last wishes were not followed because of uncertainty and confusion,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger. “For your wishes to be followed, they need to be known. So please, take the opportunity of this day to get them in writing and to share them with your family and your health care provider.”

Department of Human Services offices in St. Paul will also provide information about advance health care planning alongside information about the Own Your Future initiative in their lobbies. Own Your Future is a state and federal initiative to promote planning for the personal care and household help people will need as they grow older or become disabled, including how to pay for needed help.

Health care directives are available at the Honoring Choices Minnesota website, Planning for long-term care needs can begin with a trip to the Own Your Future website,

Honoring Choices is represented on the Own Your Future Advisory Panel, which is currently engaged in public awareness efforts and identification of financial and insurance products that would especially help middle-income households meet long-term care costs. 
Hamline Law & William Mitchell Healthcare Decisions Day

9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2013
William Mitchell College of Law
875 Summit Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104 
1:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Minnesota MS Society
200 12th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55415

For information about other National Healthcare Decisions Day events around the state, visit the Twin Cities Medical Society’s Honoring Choices website.

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