This Alzheimer’s End of Life Conversation Kit Makes the Discussion Easier

Alzheimer's end of life

End of life conversations are essential for people with dementia

We all have a tendency to avoid conversations about death or dying, but it’s essential to know what your older adult’s end-of-life wishes are.

That’s especially true if they have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and most likely won’t be able to communicate their wishes during the later stages of the disease.

Talking about end of life is important because it helps you understand how your older adult would choose to live during their last months, weeks, and days.

These can be stressful things to guess at if you’ve never talked about it so experts recommend starting end of life discussions as soon as possible.

Too many people are dying in ways they wouldn’t choose and too many family members feel guilty because they’re unsure about their older adult’s wishes.

We found an excellent free guide from The Conversation Project that helps you start these conversations in the earlier stages of dementia.

It also includes tips on how to make decisions on someone’s behalf if their dementia is advanced and they can no longer express their own thoughts.

Here, we share what’s included in the guide.

 

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Free guide for Alzheimer’s end-of-life conversations

The Conversation Project is a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.

They’ve created an excellent free Conversation Starter Kit specifically for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Having a guide makes these extra-challenging conversations a little bit easier.

 

What’s included in the end-of-life conversation guide starter kit

The information is straightforward and broken up into 4 sections. Here’s an overview of what’s covered:

Step 1 (page 5): Prepare
Having these conversations is difficult and you may wonder if it’s too soon to start talking about it.

This section explains why it’s never too soon to start the discussion, how to approach it, and how to deal with it if they insist there’s “nothing wrong with them” or react negatively.

Step 2 (page 8): Talk
This section starts with advice on different ways to approach the conversation depending on what stage of dementia the person is in – early, middle, or later.

There are also tips for how to use the guide if your older adult can no longer speak for themselves because their dementia is more advanced.

The majority of the section consists of questions that help guide you through what to discuss and key decisions for end-of-life care.

Step 3 (page 14): Advocate
After you’ve had the conversation, you now have a better idea of what your older adult’s end-of-life wishes are.

This step helps you ensure that their care team also knows their wishes by sharing this document and filling out official forms with doctors, hospitals, assisted living, nursing homes, etc.

Step 4 (page 15): Learn from Others
This section includes stories that share advice and stories from people who have been through end-of-life care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

 

Next Step  Get the free end-of-life conversation starter kit for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at The Conversation Project in English, Chinese, or Spanish and an English language audio guide

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: ISPIR

 

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