We never know when it’s our time for death. In just over four years, or 2025, the first of over 77 million baby boomers will turn 80. Our 8th decade is when frailty becomes common; memory loss affects 25% of us, and most will need help to get through the day.
Dementia and other diseases can affect personality, turning warm and friendly people argumentative, anxious, and self-centered. Dementia is not an individual tragedy. It is a family illness, rippling out in ever-widening circles that affect finances, cause physical burden, exhaustion, and anticipatory grief.
The pace of dementia moves so slowly that many linger in lockdown residences. Stolen from them is the option of natural death. Factors involved in this situation happen organically and without malice; Ill-conceived medical interventions, the need for care companies to break even, and families who are unwilling or unable to understand how to allow for a natural death.
There is a way to have our wishes known even if dementia makes it impossible for us to communicate them when needed. An Alzheimer’s living will is a supplement to your advanced medical directive. It specifies how you want to be cared for if and when certain physical situations present themselves.
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