➣ Dementia: Alzheimer’s Association Guidelines for End-of-Life Care
by Deborah Grassman
Ethical dilemmas frequently surround end-of-life care. Dementia can add yet another dimension that requires attention, especially surrounding issues of mental capacity for decision-making, as well as issues surrounding quality of life and prolongation of death. The public often associate dementia with memory loss, not realizing that memory loss is just one feature of the disease. These perceptions can make informed consent more difficult on families struggling with treatment decision-making as the disease progresses.
The Alzheimer’s Association has published guidelines for end-of-life care. I have found them indispensable in helping families sort through the “what will help; what will no longer help” dilemmas they face as they make decisions about medical treatments for their loved one. The guidelines (shown below) are clear, direct, easy to understand, and come from a source that families trust (the Alzheimer’s Association). I often give the guidelines to families as the illness advances. It not only educates them so they can make an informed consent, it also gives them self-confidence in their decision making. The latter is important; it can prevent subsequent complicated grief by alleviating feelings of guilt for the decisions made.
Education. Compelling workshops presented in unusual and engaging ways on intriguing topics: Soul Injury, Soul Restoration, Aging, Personal Healing, Veteran issues, Self-Care, Chronic Illness, End-of-Life care, Spiritual Growth, PTSD, Forgiveness, Good Grief.
Low-cost Retreats. 1, 2, or 3-day retreats in your city or ours (Tampa). Topics include: Soul Injury, Soul Restoration, Personal Growth and Healing, Forgiveness, Aging.
Soul Restoration Ceremonial Workshops. Caregiving, whether personal or professional, takes a toll! Understandably, we often disconnect from the pain. Disconnecting from the part of self carrying the pain contributes to loss of energy, emptiness, and compassion fatigue. This 4-8 hour ceremonial workshop will provide a restorative experience for your staff or your patients’ families.
Soul Injury Ceremonial Workshops. We will help your community organize, plan, and implement a ceremony for combat veterans which helps them lay down any burdens of unmourned grief or unforgiven guilt they may still be carrying. The gaping hole in our society from the aftermath of war can be healed!
Book Circles for Personal Growth.Utilizing the book, The Hero Within: Redeeming the Destiny We Were Born to Fulfill, we will help you grow small communities of people who want to cultivate pervasive personal peace.
Book Circles for Veterans. Utilizing the book, Peace at Last: Stories of Hope and Healing for Veterans and Their Families, you can become an agent of healing for our nation’s heroes by hosting a book circle for veterans and their families.
Free web-based Materials, Tools, Resources, and Blogs.
We offer these services with our Opus Peace prayer: Cultivate in me, oh God, the willingness to re-own and re-home scattered pieces of myself so that I might be restored to Your wholeness. Grow in me the honesty, humility, and courage to release my fears of who I am and who I am not. Fuel me with your Grace. Amen