Plan ahead for health care decisions

Riverwood Healthcare Center, along with other national, state and community organizations, is leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance health care decision-making—an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Health Care Decisions Day (NHDD).


As a participating organization, Riverwood is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will) in accordance with Minnesota state laws.  These resources are available at,  and

Riverwood provides a free one-hour class on a monthly basis, “Advance Care Planning 101”. This class will help participants discuss and share their wishes for medical care with their loved ones, their health care provider and health care agent. They will learn how to prepare a health care directive to ensure that their wishes will be followed when they are unable to make decisions for their care. Registration for the class is required. To learn the next class date and time, (218) 927-5188 or email

Riverwood also offers Advance Care Planning facilitation for those individuals who desire assistance in completing their health care directive. To make an appointment with a trained facilitator, call Riverwood at (218) 927-2157 and request an advance care planning facilitation.

“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day and the ongoing efforts of our Riverwood staff, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their health care decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Val Thompson, Riverwood social worker.  “Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient, and healthcare providers and facilities will be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.”

For more information about National Health Care Decision Day, visit