I have met with several families over the past few weeks who have been taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia for many, many years. Their loved ones have reached the point where they have pretty much no quality life. They are merely existing – being spoon fed, being shifted in bed so they don’t get bed sores, and having their diaper changed. We have discussed the idea of stopping spoon feeding and there is a lot of discomfort because the issue was never discussed.
Take a look at this article from the New York Time the other day. It links to a dementia specific health care advanced directive that specifically deals with this issue. I am going to use these in the planning we do for families.