Do you have a written plan stating what kind of health care treatments you would or would not want if you could not speak for yourself?

    Learn more about advance care planning at a free public event on Thursday, March 21 from 5:30-7 p.m. at Crookston’s Stenshoel-Houske Funeral and Cremation Service located at 615 S. Minnesota St., Crookston, Minn.

    Staff from Hospice of the Red River Valley will teach about the importance of advance care planning and having conversations with loved ones about your wishes, preferences, goals and values regarding end-of-life health care decisions.

    Advance care planning is like planning a road trip to an unfamiliar destination. People approach mapping their route in different ways, but your trip can be made more comfortable by planning ahead. An advance directive is a map detailing where you want your health care “to go,” in the event you are unable to voice your own wishes. It is a written statement of your wishes, preferences, goal and values regarding end-of-life health care decisions. It is only used if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself.

    Ask yourself, in the event of chronic or serious illness, would you want to pursue every medical avenue available to you? What type of pain control do you want, and when should it be administered? Do you want to set limits on the type and length of medical treatment?

    Advance directives are not only for the elderly; anyone 18 years and older should complete an advance directive. By completing an advance directive, people and their families are able to have tough conversations well before the directive is actually needed. It’s equally important to reassess as things change. Early on in a serious illness, you may want to do everything possible to find a cure or prolong life. As an illness progresses, you may want to modify your advance directive and focus on comfort and quality of life.

    For more information, contact Sam Green with Hospice of the Red River Valley at samantha.green@hrrv.org or (701) 356-1500 or Trudy Hofer with Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home and Cremation Services at trudy@stenshoelhouske.com or 281-3372. Please RSVP to Trudy via email or phone call.

About Hospice of the Red River Valley

    Hospice of the Red River Valley is an independent, not-for-profit hospice serving more than 30 counties in North Dakota and Minnesota. Hospice care is intensive comfort care that alleviates pain and suffering, enhancing the quality of life for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones by addressing their medical, emotional, spiritual and grief needs. For more information, call toll free 800-237-4629, email questions@hrrv.org or visit www.hrrv.org.