Life is a book. There are good chapters and bad chapters. When facing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the last chapter can often be the most challenging.
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, a designation aimed at making the general public more aware of the disease and to help with knowledge of potential care options. My mother died of advanced Alzheimer’s and my sister currently has dementia. So I unfortunately do not need to be reminded that end-of-life planning with these conditions offers a specific set of difficulties and is best begun early. Even if dementia never touches you or your senior loved one, many of the steps taken to deal with it are beneficial for anyone facing advancing age.
I belong to the Oak Park End-of-Life Options Coalition which is the local group affiliated with Compassion & Choices. We are presenting a webinar you may find very helpful, “Preparing for a Dementia Diagnosis Now.” It will be on Zoom on Thursday, Nov. 18 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. You are invited to register at: //candc.link/dementiatools. The tools to be discussed will give those planning care for themselves or loved ones the ability to ask questions and advocate for themselves in the event of a current or future dementia diagnosis.
Information about these resources and other toolkits (in English and in Spanish) can be found at www.compassionandchoices.org.
Jane Llewellyn, RN, PhD, Oak Park