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April 4, 2020

2/15/2020 7:30:00 AM
Marshfield Clinic to host free advance directives workshops

Each day, right here in northern Wisconsin, families are forced to face a variety of health care crises requiring them to make critical decisions for their loved ones.

Marshfield Clinic is offering free workshops called "Caring Conversations" to highlight the importance of exploring goals and values related to future medical decisions in the event someone is unable to communicate those wishes.

These workshops are held at Minocqua Center in the lower level conference room from 1 to 2:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month and from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month, according to a Marshfield Clinic press release.

Register in advance by calling 1-844-853-4106. Individual appointments are also available at both locations. There is no charge for appointments.

Advance care planning begins with a conversation, and the Clinic has staff trained to promote that conversation. It begins with exploring past experiences, what living well means to that person, and any cultural, spiritual, religious or personal beliefs they have that may impact their decisions for future medical care.

The information is used to complete the advance directive in which the patient appoints someone to be their health care decision maker, otherwise known as a health care agent. The agent makes decisions based on the patient's wishes including end-of-life preferences when the person is unable to make decisions for themselves.

"One of the biggest misconceptions is that family members will be able to make health care decisions if a loved one is unable," said Leslie Borne, advance care planning coordinator. "Without an advance directive, even your spouse does not have the legal authority to make health care decisions for you. In an already stressful time, your loved ones may have to go to court for guardianship and this is time consuming, costly, and the individual's wishes may still be unknown.

"Having these discussions is not easy, but we are here to help," Borne said. "When families have discussions about values and wishes, it reduces stress, anxiety and conflict during times of medical crisis. Advance care planning helps your family honor your choices based on your wishes."

Advance care planning is for anyone age 18 or older and of sound mind. For more information, to register for a free workshop or to schedule a free individual appointment, call 844-853-4106 or 715-221-7132.

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232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

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