National Institute on Aging
Tips for Caregivers
As a caregiver discussing your loved one’s care and treatment preferences in advance can help you and the person prepare for the future. Starting the conversation early is especially important if the person has been diagnosed with a condition that affects their cognitive health, such as Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Use these tips to help prepare for the discussion:
- Start simple. Talking about specific medical treatments or decisions can be scary and overwhelming. Instead, try asking about any concerns they may have, what decisions they may need to make, and who they might trust to make decisions for them.
- Share what’s important to you. Your loved one may feel more comfortable discussing their preferences if you also talk about what matters to you.
- Remind them why it’s important. Talk about the benefits of having these conversations and creating an advance care plan. By documenting their wishes, they are more likely to get the care they want, and it can also help loved ones feel less burden, guilt, and depression.