It’s important for people with Alzheimer’s to have a living will, a power of attorney and a durable power of attorney for health care. If they don’t these documents should be prepared early in the course of the illness when the person is still mentally competent to make such decisions.
When people with Alzheimer’s have not executed advance directives and are unable to make end-of-life healthcare decisions on their own, the caregiver will need to make the decisions for them. These include several different issues over time, such as the use of CPR, antibiotics, hospitalization, a ventilator, use of a feeding tube and, ultimately, engaging hospice care services.
For detailed information about each of these issues see my Huffington Post article, “Make Alzheimer’s End-of-Life Decisions Long Before They Are Needed.”