More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, and spirit visits after the passing of a loved one. ___________________________________________

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Handling the End of Life Decisions of a Loved One With Alzheimer's

By Brian Willie

Unfortunately, there is likely to come a time in every caretaker's life when he or she is forced to make an end-of-life decision for a loved one with Alzheimer's. These choices are not easy and cannot only take a mental and emotional toll on a person, but can cause intense physical pain as well.

Ideally, before the Alzheimer's progresses to a point where your loved one is unable to make these important decisions on their own, discussions about their wishes should take place while they still have the capacity to decide what they really want.

People with Alzheimer's have a legal right to limit or pass up medical or life-sustaining treatments including the use of ventilators, antibiotics and cardiopulmonary resuscitation as well as artificial nutrition and hydration.

Through advanced directives, Alzheimer's patients can decide whether or not they want to be kept alive artificially should the need occur. To avoid putting pressure on your or another family member, you should encourage your loved one to make this decision as soon as they are diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

It's important to an individual with Alzheimer's that his or her family members do not argue with their decision or associate the choice to not receive treatments or be revived as assisted suicide.

Keep in mind that an Alzheimer's patient reaching the end of his or her life is likely to be in the very advanced stages of the disease and therefore incredibly confused and uncomfortable. For someone in this state, aggressive medical treatment could feel like torture and bring more pain than comfort.

If you are faced with making the important decision of whether or not to keep a loved one alive, think carefully about what he or she may have wanted. Consult with close friends and family members who know your loved one well and speak to doctors about what they believe would be best for your him or her.

The decision is never easy, but may arise, so talk to your loved one before the Alzheimer's progresses and they are unable to communicate to you their wishes.

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For more information, you might enjoy reading my book, More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife. Purchase paperback on It's also on Amazon as an e-book for those who have Kindle or Sony Readers. The audio book is now available!

1 comment:

Kaloy said...

It's really heartbreaking when you find yourself stock in a situation like this. Thanks for posting this, actually I am not able to be in a situation like this, but just even imagining makes my hair on the neck stand.
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