Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD)

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Minnesota Community Action Agencies, medical service providers, and the MN Board on Aging have determined there is a need to provide focus and promote the Advanced Heath Care Directive (AHCD) project across the state. Seven community action agencies, including Mahube-Otwa, are involved in this new initiative.

Minnesota law allows you to inform others of your health care wishes. You have the right to state your wishes or appoint an agent in writing so that others will know what you want if you can’t tell them because of illness or injury.

What is a Health Care Directive?

A health care directive is a written document that informs others of your wishes about your health care. It allows you to name a person (“agent”) to decide for you if you are unable to decide. It also allows you to name an agent if you want someone else to decide for you. You must be at least 18 years old to make a health care directive.

Why Have a Health Care Directive?

A health care directive is important if your attending physician determines you can’t communicate your health care choices (because of physical or mental incapacity). It is also important if you wish to have someone else make your health care decisions.

How Do I Make a Health Care Directive?

There are forms for health care directives. You don’t have to use a form, but your health care directive must meet the following requirements to be legal:

  • Be in writing and dated.
  • State your name.
  • Be signed by you or someone you authorize to sign for you, when you can understand and communicate your health care wishes.
  • Have your signature verified by a notary public or two witnesses.
  • Include the appointment of an agent to make health care decisions for you and/or instructions about the health care choices you wish to make.

Before you prepare or revise your directive, you should discuss your health care wishes with your doctor or other health care provider.

How to Obtain Additional Information

Please contact your health care provider, your attorney, or:

Minnesota Board on Aging’s Senior LinkAge Line®: 1-800-333-2433

Locally contact Becker County Senior Coordinator, Karen Lenius: 218-847-1385

A suggested health care directive form is available on the internet at: http://www.mnaging.org