Asking older adults about their plans and priorities early helps families understand and honor their wishes.
Sometimes, older adults aren't able to fully participate in family discussions, due to dementia or other health issues. Often, these older adults can share their opinions, choose between options or make decisions about their daily life.
Older adults tend to be happier if they are included in family discussions and decisions at some level. For older adults living with dementia, it can help to keep discussions short, take breaks and focus on one question or topic at a time.
During discussions, family members can consider the older adult's:
Talk to and try to include the older adult's official decision-makers in family discussions, such as:
These decision-makers should be familiar with the older adult's preferences and health, financial or legal situation.
Official documents can also provide guidance. For example, an advance directive or living will describes the older adult's feelings about certain medical procedures.