Advance Care Planning… Ensuring Your Wishes Are Known and HonoredIf You Are Unable to Speak for Yourself

Did You Know…

  • Nearly 80% of people say they would prefer to die at home
  • About 80% of people say they don’t want their life extended by machines
  • 82% of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing and there is a big gap between what people say they want and what actually happens
  • 70% of Americans (more than 1.7 million) die of a chronic disease


  • Almost 75% of people don’t die at home
  • People without advance care planning are moved an average of 3 times in the last few weeks of life
  • Having an Advance Directive is associated with decreased likelihood of dying in a hospital
  • The use of mechanical ventilation in the 90 days prior to death has increased in the last 15 years

Senior Care Professionals surveyed say 70% of family conversations about aging are prompted by an event such as a health crisis

Most Americans (71%) believe it is more important to enhance quality of life even if it means a shorter life

Less than one third of American Adults have advance directives expressing their wishes

Lack of awareness is the number one barrier to not having an advance care directive

65-76% of doctors whose patients had an advance care directive were not aware it existed

66% of family disputes about aging or end-of-life issues that end up in court could have been avoided with advance care planning

About 62 percent of all deaths each year are due to 5 chronic diseases

  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Chronic Obstructive
  • Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Diabetes

Did You Know…

An Advance Care Plan can be used at any stage of life and should be updated as circumstances change.

Life changes may include the 5 D’s

Decade– when you start each new Decade in your life

Death– whenever you experience a Death of a loved one

Divorce– when you experience a Divorce or major family change

Diagnosis– when you are Diagnosed with a serious health condition

Decline– when you experience a significant Decline of existing health condition, especially when you are unable to live on your own

Goals for Advance Care Planning

Establish a Healthcare Agent, which is a legal activity

Express your values, treatment goals and wishes, which is a communication task

Advance Care Directives can only work if…

Individual understands the document

Surrogate understands the individual’s wishes

Physician is aware of the document’s existence

Physician complies with the Surrogate’s instructions

Document is revised as an individual’s condition / goals changes

Download and Print the Honoring Choices Document

To help you complete this Health Care Directive form, please give special attention to the following:

Please enter the date where indicated throughout this Health Care Directive.

On page 4, “Making This Document Legal”, please note under Minnesota law, 2 witnesses or a notary public must verify your signature and the date. Your witnesses or notary public cannot be names as your primary or alternate Health Care Agent.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact 

Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center: Peggy Holtz, Chaplaincy Services, or 218-828-7530.

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center: Debra Bergsnev and Mary Novotny Honoring Choices Facilitators, or or 218-546-7000 ext. 4222.

St. Croix Hospice: Nita Loken or 218-866-2743

Heartland Hospice: Ryan Sjoblad or 218-537-6180.