An Advance Care Plan needs to be made when you still have the mental capacity to make decisions about your health care, and to understand the consequences of your decisions.  If someone  cannot understand their options, or the consequences of those options then it is too late to complete an Advance Care Plan. 

However, if you can still communicate that you want certain things- eg to eat and drink, to be left alone, or to receive or refuse certain treatments,  in a way that indicates to others you are fully aware of the consequences of those choices, then those wishes should be followed. 

How to plan if you have dementia?

So what can you do if you have dementia and want to make plans for future care? You can appoint an Enduring Guardian and specify that they are to make lifestyle, health and medical decisions for you when you’re not capable of doing this for yourself.  You could otherwise appoint an Enduring Power of Attorney for Health Decisions.

Watch our video with Speech Pathologists  about capacity, eating, and communicating with assistive devices like pictures and ipads.

Plan now for peace of mind

If you have dementia in your family, start your own or encourage your loved ones to complete their Advance Care Plan now and update it regularly.  

And if you are discussing medical issues with someone who has dementia please remember that they, like you, are probably stressed, confused and not their normal self.  So take it slowly. But start early!

For more information about Advance Care Planning and dementia, click here