Ethical Choices
Ethical Choices

Part 3: Making End-of-Life Decisions

There will be many decisions to make at this stage of the disease.

  • Refer to and follow any documents that the person with the disease has made to take care of his wishes. They may be referred to as a Personal Directive or a Power of Attorney.
  • If plans are not already in place, decide who will be responsible for making financial, legal and care decisions.
  • Follow the person's wishes if you know them. Otherwise, decisions will need to be based on the person's lifelong values and desires and what you think the person would want.
  • Advise the health-care team of any expressed medical wishes and include the team in the decision-making process on medical issues.
  • A lot can change during this stage. Keep informed of any changes in the person's condition that may mean more decisions must be made.

It can be challenging for family members to agree on what to do, but through talking and understanding, conflict can be reduced, and crisis decision-making can be avoided. The Alzheimer Society can connect you with professional support from counsellors, social workers and family mediators.

Preparing for the Future

Asking questions of health care providers can sometimes be difficult. Many of us do not know the questions we could ask to help us better understand and plan for the future.

This question prompt sheet has been designed to open up conversations between you, your family, and members of the healthcare staff in this facility. The answers to these questions may not be simple or straightforward; dementia affects each person in different ways.

By asking these important questions, we hope you will gain the information you need regarding how things might progress toward the final stages of life and help prepare you for the future. Click on the image below to download and print a copy of the question prompt sheet.

Preparing for the Future

More Learning Resources

Comfort Care at the End-of-Life for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Degenerative Diseases of the Brain

Dementia and End-of-Life, Part 1: What decisions do I need to make?