Should you start planning for end-of-life care after a diagnosis?

By | October 21st, 2020

Yes, if you can do it in a sensitive way. The problem is that lots of people who have dementia—and perhaps it’s a blessing—don’t have insight into that because the part of the brain that gives us insight and self-awareness is affected quite early on in dementia. Sometimes, you can try and introduce the topic, but it can be very difficult for people who are in the early stages of dementia to visualize a future self and what they might want. You can keep it very general and say, “Was that a good idea? What happened to that person? What would you like?” Discussing the subject with your siblings or other family members could be helpful, but don’t put too much pressure on the person with dementia because it’s conceptually difficult to think, “What would my future self want?” But a very gentle discussion at an opportune moment could be helpful.

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