Health Care Directives - a way to make YOUR WISHES about YOUR HEALTH CARE known
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.
The information that follows tells about health care directives and how to prepare them. It does not give every detail of the law.
What is a Health Care Directive?
A health care directive is a written document that informs other 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. In some circumstances, your directive may state that you want someone other than an attending physician to decide when you cannot make your own decisions.
Must I have a Health Care Directive? What Happens if I Don't Have One?
You don't have to have a health care directive. But, writing one helps to make sure your wishes are followed.
You will still receive medical treatment if you don't have a written directive. Health care providers will listen to what people close to you say about your treatment preferences, but the best way to be sure your wishes are followed is to have a health care directive.
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:
1. Be in writing and dated.
2. State your name.
3. Be signed by you or someone you authorized to sign for you, when you can understand and communicate your health care wishes.
4. Have your signature verified by a notary public or two witnesses.
5. 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. If you want more information about health care directives, please contact your health care provider, your attorney, or: Minnesota Board on Aging's Senior LinkAge Line 1-800-333-2433.
Safety Tips for Seniors
By John Schulte, President of the Northeast Citizen Patrol (NECP)
While we have been blessed with a great team of police officers at the Second Precinct, and we have had a great reduction in crime this past year, criminals are still plentiful in NE, and we all must be more aware of our surroundings, and of what is going on around us on a daily basis.
We should not live in fear, but we all must always follow the Boy Scout motto of - Be Prepared
In this light, I want to share these tips to help keep you from becoming a victim.
1. Always keep your doors and windows locked, including screen and storm doors. If you don't have deadbolts, have them installed. Never open your door automatically to any stranger, and do not let a stranger into the house - if someone asks to use your phone, tell them you will make a call for them. Install and use a peephole, or consider installing an intercom system. Don't be afraid to ask for proper identification from anyone, including those that say they are from the utility company.
2. If you are in your back yard working, do not leave your front door unlocked, or vise- versa.
3. Leaving lights on when going out at night; use a timer to turn lights on and off when you are away for an extended period, and keep curtains closed. Don't leave notes on the door when going out. Notify neighbors and the police when going away on a trip.
4. When you are away remember to cancel deliveries such as newspapers and arrange for someone - a neighbor's child, perhaps - to mow the lawn if need be. Arrange for your mail to be held by the Post Office, or ask a neighbor to collect it for you.
5. Vary your daily routine.
6. Use "Neighbor Watch" to keep an eye on your neighborhood. Meet your neighbors and don't hesitate to call 911 to report any suspicious people or activities. It's better to be wrong than not call at all.
7. Don't leave notes on the front door directing people to the back door. Don't hide spare keys under the mat or in other conspicuous places for friends and relatives.
8. Keep an inventory with serial numbers and photographs of re-saleable appliances, antiques and furniture. Leave copies in a safe place.
9. Keep a light on at night, inside and out. Keep shades closed. Consider installing exterior lights that include motion detector sensors.
10. Never give out information over the phone indicating you are alone or that you won't be home at a certain time.
11. If you arrive at home and see your door or window broken, DON'T GO IN. Leave quietly and call 911 if you have a cell phone to report the crime, and go to your nearest neighbor's home.