Published on April 17, 2020

ProHealth Care video makes advance care directives class accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic

ProHealth Care has created an educational video to help people better understand the need for advance directives and complete the necessary documents.

"What You Need to Know about Advance Care Directives" is available below.  It addresses:

  • The importance of advance care planning.
  • Tips for talking about health care decisions.
  • Steps required to document health care decisions using an advance directive, or health care power of attorney document.

More information about advance directives can be found at ProHealthCare.org/AdvanceCarePlanning.

"It’s important for everyone to talk with their family members now, before they become ill — or their symptoms worsen — and they may have to be admitted to the hospital," said Jim Hauser, MSW, ProHealth Care social worker. "By having these conversations and completing a health care power of attorney document before it’s needed, people can alleviate the stress of making decisions during serious illness."

Hauser said that without a legal document, Wisconsin does not automatically transfer medical decisions to the next of kin. Health care providers may have to delay decisions about a patient’s care until a guardian can be appointed by the courts. With a signed and witnessed health care power of attorney, those wishes are documented and there are no delays in care.

"This is why it is so crucial to put your wishes and values into an advance directive and share them with family members and the health care system," Hauser said.

Sarah Butz, director of community education, said ProHealth developed the video in response to the surge in coronavirus cases in Wisconsin.

"ProHealth’s free advance care planning classes would normally be led by our social workers at locations in the community," Butz said. "We have seen increased need and demand for this information during the pandemic. Everyone — no matter their age or health status — should complete a health care power of attorney document."

The video includes step-by-step information about the document, facts about relevant Wisconsin state law, resources for assistance with the document, and more.

Forms and resources

Download advance care directive forms including the power of attorney for health care created by Honoring Choices Wisconsin. (Spanish PDF) You’ll also find publications that help you and your family talk about end-of-life health care issues at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.

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