A diagnosis of dementia can bring on worry and anxiety about the changes one is going to experience. Preparing for legal, health-care and financial decisions can help ease transitions and soothe anxieties as dementia progresses.
It can be difficult to know where to start, but the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help.
Trail and Rossland residents are invited to learn more in the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s free webinar, “Planning ahead: Do it now!” with guest speaker and lawyer, Emily Clough. The hour-long session is on March 10 at 2 p.m.
As dementia progresses, it can become increasingly difficult to make choices about your care, finances and other important decisions. However, there are several things you can do now to ensure your wishes are communicated, heard and respected later on.
Clough, a partner at Clark Wilson LLP, is a strong voice for clients facing incapacity issues and has experience assisting clients in all aspects of estates law including drafting wills and trusts, pre-incapacity planning and administering estates through probate.
During the webinar on March 10, she will discuss useful strategies to begin legal, health-care and financial planning now, before dementia affects your ability to communicate.
Tips for making an advance care plan
Planning ahead is important and can bring a lot of comfort during times of change and uncertainty. It can mean the difference between the care you want and the care you might receive.
1. Think about what’s important to you. Take time to reflect on your values and wishes. What makes your life meaningful? What situations would you find difficult as your dementia progresses and what path forward would make you most comfortable?
2. Learn about different medical procedures and what they can or can’t do. Take time to consult health-care professionals or other Alzheimer Society of B.C resources to learn more.
3. Decide on a substitute decision-maker – someone who is willing and able to speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself. By talking to your decision-maker now about how you want to be cared for later on, you will make those choices easier for them. You will also have the comfort of knowing that your future care will be in trusted hands.
4. Talk about your wishes with those closest to you. Open communication is important to ensure everyone is on the same page.
5. Record your wishes. There are legal documents regarding planning for future health care. Contact the Alzheimer Society of B.C. to learn more.
Attend a webinar
To learn more about caregiving dynamics or other topics related to the disease, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. invites you to sign up for one of our free webinars. Upcoming webinars include:
* Focus on behaviour: Dressing (Wednesday, March 3, 2 p.m. PT)
Learn how dementia affects dressing and explore strategies for managing these changes.
* Planning ahead: Do it now! with Emily Clough (Wednesday, March 10, 2 p.m. PT)
Join Emily Clough, partner at Clark Wilson LLP and strong voice for clients facing incapacity issues and learn how to begin legal, health-care and financial planning now, before dementia affects the ability to communicate.
* Considering the transition to long-term care (Wednesday, March 17, 2 p.m. PT)
Factors to consider when considering a move into long-term care and ways to ease the transition.
* Building caregiver resiliency: Staying healthy (Wednesday, March 24, 2 p.m. PT) Strategies to positively manage caregiver stress and improve your caregiving skills. For caregivers.
To register for any of these webinars, or to access free recorded webinars, please visit alzbc.org/webinars.
The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help
The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible. First Link® dementia support is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s suite of programs and services designed to help them. First Link® is available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care.
Connect to First Link® by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information and support is also available in Punjabi (1-833-674-5003) and in Cantonese or Mandarin (1-833-674-5007), available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dementia is a term that describes a general group of brain disorders. Symptoms include the loss of memory, impaired judgment, and changes in behaviour and personality. Dementia is progressive, degenerative and eventually terminal.
ABOUT THE ALZHEIMER SOCIETY OF B.C.
Families across British Columbia are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. The Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s vision is a world without dementia; that vision begins with a world where people living with the disease are welcomed, acknowledged and included. Working in communities throughout the province, the Society supports, educates and advocates for people living with dementia, as well as enabling research into the disease. As part of a national federation, the Society is a leading authority on the disease in Canada.