Living with Dementia Mental Health Advance Directive & My Instructions for Oral Feeding and Drinking
About Our Dementia Directive
This first-of-its-kind advance planning document allows people coping with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia to document their wishes about the inevitable challenges related to living with these illnesses. Even if this directive is not legal where you live, you can still use it to document your wishes and provide a guide for your family, health care providers, long-term care providers, and others.
Our directive is the culmination of more than a year of work by Seattle University Clinical Law Professor Lisa Brodoff, Esq, and End of Life Washington’s former Executive Director, Robb Miller. Reviewers included our Advisory Committee members, Elder Law Attorney, Christopher Henderson, Esq, Geriatric Social Worker, Carin Mack, ACSW, and individual, family, and group therapy provider, Jane Tornatore, PhD, LMFT.
This Advance Directive is endorsed by the Western and Central Washington State Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Completing this document with the help of professionals, such as a mental health professional, geriatric care manager, and/or an elder law attorney, is highly recommended. This directive is also available by mail.
The instructions contained in this document will enable you to complete and implement the Living With Dementia Mental Health Advance Directive (referred to from now on as “Directive”). Because this document offers you the option of permanently giving away your rights to make certain decisions, it is very important that you read and fully understand these instructions and the entire Directive before you complete and sign the Directive.
This basic handout offers advice about Alzheimer’s, the concept of allowing a natural death, and the benefits of hospice care. For more information: Alzheimer’s Association – Washington State Chapter
"I am making this document because I want my medical and long-term care providers, caregivers, family, and other loved ones to honor my wishes regarding oral feeding and drinking."
"If I become unable make decisions about my health care and I stop feeding myself due to Alzheimer’s Disease or other progressive dementia, I want oral food and fluids to be provided to me under certain circumstances..."
The purpose of My Instructions for Oral Feeding and Drinking is to stop attempts to give you food and water if, because of progressive dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, (1) you become unable to feed yourself and you lose interest in eating or drinking, or (2) instead of swallowing food and water, you breathe them into your lungs. Eventually, nearly everyone with progressive dementia will get to this point (unless they die of something else first). It’s important to understand that this document does not apply to people with dementia who still get hungry and thirsty and want to eat and drink.