In the face of all the fears and worries brought up by the COVID-19 pandemic, it can actually be reassuring and empowering to plan for what you would chose if you became gravely ill. Use this time with your family. Think through your options and choices. Talk to your family and friends. Do your homework. It’s a gift to your family, and vital to our local providers as they work to respond to COVID-19 in our community.
Complete a Health Care Directive To make sure your wishes are known even if you can’t speak for yourself, complete a Health Care Directive and chose a health care agent. You can find forms and information at www.honoringchoices.org or click on "How to Complete a Health Care Directive" below. CLICK HERE for a special COVID-19 guide from Honoring Choices. Care Partners’ nurse can help you understand the choices or complete the form. Care Partners staff can also mail out forms, help you with them on-line and assist you in making sure your forms are on file at the clinic and hospital. You can call Care Partners at 387-3788 for assistance.
Consider a POLST If you wish to limit treatment options, if you have a high-risk chronic health condition or if you might choose to die at home, you should consider working with your health care provider to complete a POLST form. It's kept at home with you and is the only form that allows Emergency Responders to follow your wishes for less treatment. To learn more about the POLST form, go to www.polstmn.org. Care Partner's nurse can help you think through the POLST form and answer any additional questions you have. However, this form should be signed by your health care provider. Remember that there is a LIMITED window of time - before COVID-19 becomes more active in the community - when a local provider will be able to help you complete this form. Call Sawtooth Mountain Clinic at 218-387-2330 (or your health care provider) to schedule a tele-health or over-the-phone appointment.
Do you want help thinking about end-of-life, or your legacy, or what you would want to resolve or say to your loved ones while it is easier to do so? Talk to your minister or call Care Partners to connect with one of the trained End of Life Doulas.
It will relieve your mind and ease the burden decision-making for your family and health care providers.
Here's a video message about the importance of health care planning from Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Dr. Jenny Delfs:
Not sure how to bring up the subject of advance care planning with a spouse, parent or other loved one? The folks at The Conversation Project understand...here's a video that may offer some encouragement!