Patient and Nurse

Health Care Directives

A health care directive, also known as an advance directive, is a legal document that helps direct your doctors and medical providers whenever you are in need of health care, but are unable to communicate your wishes or preferences. 

No one is required to have a health care directive, but completing one is a good idea for adults of any age. Not only does it help make sure your health care wishes are followed, but it also helps your loved ones understand the type of care and treatment you would want in certain situations.

If you are considering completing a health care directive, it is important for you to take time to understand your goals and preferences related to your health care. Consider having a conversation with your physician and discussing your personal health status and future health care needs. If you have named one or more people to make decisions for you when you are not able, it is important for you to have a conversation with those individuals to make sure they feel comfortable with that role and understand your wishes.


Health care directives are also available online at the Minnesota Board of Aging website