We’ve talked many times about making sure you have all your healthcare documents updated and on file with your healthcare provider, as well as providing them to your healthcare proxy (the person who has medical power of attorney if you are unable to make decisions for yourself).
An additional document you should include with your advance directives (also known as a living will) is a dementia advance directive.
The dementia advance directive enables you to specify the level of care you want at different steps in the dementia journey: mild cognitive impairment, mid-stage dementia, and end-stage dementia.
None of us knows if dementia is in our future. However, it seems more likely than not, if we live long enough, that all of us may experience some kind of neurological decline and that may lead to the development of dementia.
It’s better for us to be prepared now while we still have control over our decision-making to make sure that our wishes are carried out in the future if we no longer have the ability to communicate what we want in terms of medical care.
Download the dementia advance directive today. Complete it. Provide a copy to your healthcare provider and the person who will serve as your medical power of attorney.
Personally, my hope is that I don’t live long enough to have to depend on these documents.
But the peace of mind they will give us and those we’ve entrusted to carry out our wishes, if we should outlive our bodies and our minds, is priceless.