Before you or a loved one is faced with a life limiting illness or cognitive impairment, it is important to have completed the legal paperwork necessary for estate planning. Unfortunately, this often not the case, and family is trying to get the necessary legal documents completed under difficult circumstances, such as cognitive impairment, where someone is no longer able to manage his/her affairs or a medical crisis. (see Tip Sheet: Making Decisions: What Are Your Important Papers)
When someone is no longer able to handle his or her own financial or personal affairs, the court can appoint an individual or professional to act on behalf of the incapacitated person. When a minor child is involved, it is generally called a guardianship. When an adult needs someone, it is called a conservatorship. However, states define these terms differently and you need to consult an attorney in your state to determine what the law is.
The Advance Health Care Directive (ADHC) allows you to appoint someone (health care agent, attorney-in-fact, proxy or surrogate) to make a decision for you if you can not speak for yourself. It is also called the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Natural Death Act, Directive to Physicians or a Living Will. (The living will is slightly different; check on what is recognized in your state.) Every state recognizes the ADHC, but states have their own forms, as laws vary from state to state.
The intervention assists caregivers in finding meaning, purpose and value during the end-of-life caregiving experience.
Suncoast Hospice is the nation's largest not-for-profit, community-based provider of hospice and palliative care. The Hospice provides care for tens of thousands of people annually, and leads innovative service delivery, social change advocacy, technology development and other end-of-life initiatives.
Long-term effects of bereavement and caregiver intervention on dementia caregiver depressive symptoms
Citation Haley, W., Bergman, E.J., Roth, D.L., McVie, T., Gaugler, J.E., & Mittelman, M, S. (2008). Long-term effects of bereavement and caregiver intervention on dementia caregiver depressive symptoms. The Gerontologist, 48(6), 732-740
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the joint effects of bereavement and caregiver intervention on caregiver depressive symptoms.
End-of-life caregiving: What helps family caregivers cope?
Citation Redinbaugh, E. M. Baum, A., Tarbell, S., & Arnold, R. (2003) End-of-life caregiving: What helps family caregivers cope? Journal of Palliative Medicine, 6 (6), 901-909.
Design Exploratory research
Purpose This study examined the relationships among caregiving stressors, coping, and caregiver strain in a sample of 31 family caregivers and their terminally ill loved ones enrolled in home hospice programs.