Benedictine Crookston and RRV Hospice encourage all to express healthcare wishes

Crookston Times

We plan so many aspects of our lives. As young adults, thoughts are of when and how we will complete our education, begin our first job, or buy our first home. Later, the focus may be on when and where to go on vacation, the next grandchild’s sporting event or even retirement. 

Yet, we often don’t think about how we want to live our lives. Advance care planning is a process of planning for future medical decisions. The process includes reflection on what is most important in our lives – hopes, dreams and aspirations to live life to its fullest potential now and at the end of life, values and beliefs (cultural, religious, spiritual, and personal). 

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, Benedictine Living Community (BLC)-Crookston and Hospice Red River Valleyencourages people of all ages to express their wishes for their future medical care through a healthcare directive or POLST document. 

A health care directive is a written plan that outlines the individual’s goals, values and priorities for future medical treatment. Through the health care directive, a person makes their wishes known regarding future medical treatment and shares it with their loved ones, their health care team and their health care agent in the event. 

Those who are seriously ill or have advanced frailty may also execute a POLST or Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment form. POLST forms must be filled out and signed by the individual’s health care provider. The POLST form informs other health care providers about the individual’s wishes for future medical care and follows the individual wherever they go for care. 

“As hard as it may be to think about the end of one’s life, it really reduces stress for families when they know their loved one’s wishes when they can’t speak for themselves,” said Lynne Olson, RN at Hospice, who with other Hospice team members partners with the team at Benedictine to provide individualized care and services to those on their “most holy journey”.   

Social Service Director/Admission Coordinator Judith Meyer adds, “Taking the time now to talk about what is most important and meaningful to you for your quality of life will ensure that your wishes are honored if you become unable to communicate them.”

Benedictine has trained facilitators and tools to guide residents and their families through these conversations. Check out more information on our website:   

A trusted provider of senior care services for more than 43 years, BLC-Crookston is accepting new residents for long-term skilled nursing care, short-term care and rehabilitation, assisted living at The SUMMIT, basic care, memory care, respite care and end-of-life care, with enhanced infection control protocols in place for residents and staff. The Hospice Red River Valley team of experts is ready to serve and support as your wishes are honored.

For more information, contact:

BLC-Crookston at 218-281-3424 or  

Hospice of The Red River Valley can be reached at or 1-800-237-4629.

Lynne Olson, RN for Hospice