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Written Gift can help create health care directive

What is the Written Gift? The Written Gift is a local nonprofit dedicated to engaging the community in an advance care planning process while promoting end of life choices based on an individual's goals, values and beliefs.

Advance care planning is a process of reflection and communication. It is about taking into consideration your cultural, religious, spiritual and personal beliefs as you determine what health care treatments you would or would not want to receive and completing a health care directive. This is used when you have a sudden event, such as a car accident, or chronic condition and are unable to make your own medical decisions and speak for yourself.

Your health care agent is the person you choose to make your health care decisions when you are unable to communicate and make your preferences known. They will be your voice. Consider the following when selecting your health care agent:

Do I trust this person to carry out my wishes? Will this person honor your preferences even if they do not agree with them? Can they make decisions in a stressful situation?

It is important to talk to and share your wishes with your family, loved ones, health care providers and your health care agent.

It is important for every adult older than age 18 to have a health care directive. The form should be filled out after time spent thinking and talking with loved ones about your values and goals related to your future health care needs. Your directive should be detailed enough to allow the people who are reading it to feel confident they can make decisions that would align with what you would say, if you were able to be a part of the conversation.

To contact The Written Gift for more information on helping you write your own health care directive or to request a copy of the Honoring Choices Minnesota Health Care Directive, please call (320) 759-4243, email us at thewrittengift@charter.net or send us a note at The Written Gift, PO Box 605, Alexandria, MN 56308. We have trained facilitators who are willing to meet with you at our office at the Douglas County Hospital.

We can't do what you want if we don't know what that is.

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