Advanced Health Care Options: Why it’s Important to Have a Plan

Sanford Health is teaching the importance of advanced health care options to residents at Bethany

FARGO, N.D. — It’s National Health Care Decisions Day and members of Bethany Retirement Living are providing options for all residents.

It can be a difficult conversation that families have about quality of life when it comes to health care.

Bethany Retirement Living teamed up with Sanford Health Systems to answer some questions.

“Who would want to have someone else make a decision about their life?” asked Jannine Whartnaby, who is a certified advanced care facilitator with Sanford Health. “You know yourself better than anybody else.”

A workshop was held to help make some of those tough decisions.

“Medical things such as CPR and kidney dialysis,” said Whartnaby.

Besides from medical choices, she says there’s another leading factor when it comes to health care decisions.

“We talk about spirituality and your values and coordinating and putting your values together with what the medical practices are to decide what’s right for you,” explained Whartnaby.

Experts say it’s important to have these discussions sooner than later.

It’s something that’s relevant to everybody.

“Not only for the elderly, which we normally think of who it’s for, but also for young people 18 and up,” said Whartnaby.

“We are seeing younger residents coming to us,” said Amanda Hayenga, who is the director of social services with Bethany Retirement Living. “Advance healthcare directives are for anyone even younger folks should have it. Anything can happen at any time.”

Putting it down on paper is key.

“It really is a gift for a family to have all of our wishes written out ahead of time,” said Hayenga.

“It’s really a blessing when you’re able to make those hard decisions,” said Whartnaby.

A second workshop will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Bethany Retirement Living on University Drive.

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