Posts Tagged ‘end-of-life care’

Alzheimer’s and Critial End-of-Life Healthcare Decisions

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

It’s important for everyone to execute healthcare advance directives. These include a living will, which documents a person’s desires related to end-of-life medical decisions, and a durable power of attorney, in which someone is appointed to make healthcare decisions if the person is no longer able to do so, due to either a physical condition or reduced mental capacity.

It’s especially important for people with Alzheimer’s to have these documents prepared, if they don’t already have them. This should be done 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.”

 

 

Alzheimer’s Caregivers: More Resources for You

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

AARP (http://www.aarp.org/) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over. It’s dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all as they age. It leads positive social change and delivers value to members through information, advocacy and service.

The organization’s website contains a vast amount of information for caregivers. Most of this is located in the CaregiverResourceCenter- http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/. It includes tools, work sheets and tips on how to plan, prepare and succeed as a caregiver. In addition it has posts of important items in the news, active online discussion groups, columns by various experts, and a “Take Care” blog, just to mention a few of the Center’s features. 

There are also literally hundreds of short, helpful articles in the following main categories:  Getting Started, Providing Care, Housing Options, Legal and Financial Issues, and End-of-Life Care. 

Although the Center doesn’t focus exclusively on caring for Alzheimer’s patients, it does have a wealth of information that can be of value to Alzheimer’s caregivers.  I urge you to check it out.