Why Advance Care Planning is for everyone

Advance Care Planning can be a tricky topic, but it’s something everyone needs to do.

Wanda Paulsen, Essentia Health’s Advance Care Planning program manager, says it will help your loved ones carry out your wishes.

She says Advance Care Planning is “making sure that your voice is heard.”

“One of the most important things is preparing the person you want to be your decision-maker and starting to have conversations with them so they know what would be acceptable or maybe not acceptable to you in some situations,” she said.

Paulsen said everybody 18 or older needs to do Advance Care Planning. She suggests thinking of it as “a gift to those around you.”

“If wishes are not expressed, sometimes choices have to be made for us,” she said. “And sometimes, that might not align with your values or what you would want. And that can put a lot of stress and burden on family and those around us if they’re just doing their best to hope that they’re doing what you would want. But if they don’t know, that can put a lot of stress on those around us and the healthcare team.”

There are more Essentia resources here.