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Advance wish planning for dementia can be a godsend to your loved ones

endoflifeFor those of us who are caring or who have cared, we know how many choices we are faced with and many are things never discussed.

I felt like the 20 years of my mom telling me she would never want to live with one of her adult children, meant I should never move her into my home. Even after Dad died and she was struggling. I emotionally bounced all over in considering what was the right next move for mom.

While this isn’t legally binding apparently outside of the state of Washington, at least it is something we can do to help offer more guidance for someone who might need to advocate for us. I did Five Wishes and wrote out a letter in addition to my Medical Power of Attorney, but this document has even more specific choices. The Medical Power of Attorney is legally binding, but I felt like the questions in Five Wishes and my letter would offer some insight if the choices got hairy.

When my dad in a moderate stage of Alzheimer’s is diagnosed with cancer … we believed we made the right choice to move him into hospice care. When mom broke her hip, suffered another stroke and we were asked to lift her “Do Not Resuscitate” order, I felt confident that letting nature it’s course and moving her into hospice care was also the right choice.

However, I know there are a lot of families who are never sure they made the right choice. In hopes of making sure your wishes are met, and to minimize the doubt that your loved ones might have in making a decision for you, I hope you will consider filling this out now.

Dementia Advance Care Directive

It’s easier to make the choices now when there is no diagnosis or decision in front of you. You can ALWAYS revisit, but it’s good to do this years before it may ever be needed. And it will benefit everyone. Recommended.

 

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