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Alzheimer's and Illness Planning

Good planning can be helpful in the ongoing care of people with Alzheimer's disease. Ideas for caregiving and illness planning include: using estate planning tools, discussing caregiving responsibilities with family and close friends, and previewing long-term care facilities in the community.

Alzheimer's and Illness Planning: A Summary

It is important to have a plan for the responsibility and care of a person with Alzheimer's disease. It is just as important to have a plan for Alzheimer's caregivers in case of their own illness, disability, or death. Some suggestions for developing this plan can include:
 
  • Consult a lawyer regarding a living trust, durable power of attorney for healthcare and finances, and other estate planning tools.
 
  • Talk with family and close friends to decide who will take responsibility for the person with Alzheimer's disease. You may also want to seek information about your local public guardian's office, mental health conservator's office, adult protective services, or other case management services. These organizations may have programs to assist the person with Alzheimer's disease in your absence.
 
  • Maintain a notebook for the person responsible for caregiving. The notebook should contain the following information: emergency numbers, current problem behaviors and possible solutions, ways to calm the person with Alzheimer's disease, assistance needed with toileting, feeding, or grooming, and favorite activities or food.
 
  • Preview board and care or long-term care facilities in your community and select a few as possibilities. If the person with Alzheimer's disease is no longer able to live at home, the responsible person will be better able to carry out your wishes for long-term care.
 
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