Tuesday, November 20, 2018
News Roundup

Dementia: learn about a living will extension, better communication and resources

Make your wishes known

Empath Choices for Care, one of the organizations that co-sponsored Kim Campbell's late-May visit to Empath Health in Clearwater, has launched something new to help people plan for their care should they develop dementia. It's a document that was designed to be an extension of a completed living will. "Living wills are great, but they only apply during a small window of time at the end of life, when there's little or no hope for recovery," said Tracy Christner, executive director of Empath Choices for Care. "When someone has dementia, there are many care decisions to make before the end of life. Dementia can last for many, many years. That's why it's important to document your wishes early, before the stress of managing a terminal illness affects you and your family."

Empath Choices for Care calls the document a dementia living will extension and describes it as a communication tool that will outline your wishes for care should you develop moderate or severe dementia and are unable to make health care decisions for yourself. Christner said it is a detailed document that deals with many complex, often difficult issues encountered in all phases of dementia. The language is direct so that your wishes will be clear. It covers such things as your choices for receiving food and fluids and how you would envision your quality of life in the event of a diagnosis of dementia. "We don't dance around the subject," she said. "You need to express these things openly and honestly and this document will help you do that."

Christner said the time to think about dementia care is before there's a crisis and the whole family descends with their own version of what Mom or Dad would have wanted. With a dementia living will extension a person's wishes are clearly stated so that the health care surrogate can honor those wishes instead of making uninformed decisions on their own. "It takes much of the decisionmaking, stress and anxiety out of dementia caregiving," she said.

To see the document and read more about how it works, go to empathchoicesforcare.org.

Caregiving tips

The Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association offers this advice to enhance communication with a person who has dementia:

• Always approach the person from the front.

• Identify yourself and address the person by name.

• Show that you are listening and trying to understand what is being said.

• Maintain eye contact.

• Encourage the person to continue to express thoughts even if he or she is having difficulty or you don't understand.

• Avoid criticizing, correcting and arguing.

• Be calm and supportive.

• Avoid using negative statements and quizzing (e.g., "You know who that is, don't you?").

• Use short, simple and familiar words.

• Avoid talking about the person as if he or she weren't there.

Clinical trials, resources

People who have dementia can take advantage of available treatments and may be eligible for clinical trials. Visit trialmatch.alz.org to learn more about clinical trials.

Caregivers and their loved ones can benefit from local resources and support services such as education, support groups and referrals to community resources. For more information, visit alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline toll-free at 1-800-272-3900.

Comments
Rays DFA C.J. Cron in adding 5 prospects to roster

Rays DFA C.J. Cron in adding 5 prospects to roster

Leading home run hitter is headed to waiver wire; Drake and Milner also DFA'd, Mujica outrighted. Prospects Bird, Burke, Gibaut, McCarthy and Sanchez added.
Updated: 2 hours ago
For a story, memorabilia appraiser Michael Osacky will give you a price

For a story, memorabilia appraiser Michael Osacky will give you a price

BRANDON — When Michael Osacky asked the man to show him the Dan Marino autograph, Osacky didn't expect him to disrobe.Osacky, a sports memorabilia appraiser, watched as the man stood up, removed his shirt and turned around to reveal a Marino au...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs offensive linemen continue a Thanksgiving tradition

Bucs offensive linemen continue a Thanksgiving tradition

TAMPA – An event that began back in 2007 with the Buccaneers offensive linemen giving Thanksgiving dinners away to a few hundred Tampa Bay area families in need has not only more than tripled in the number of families it's able to feed every ho...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former Bucs John Lynch and Ronde Barber among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Former Bucs John Lynch and Ronde Barber among Hall of Fame semifinalists

John Lynch has been a finalist the past six years. This is Ronde Barber's third year as a semifinalist.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Florida Gators’ New Year’s Six bowl chances look better in latest College Football Playoff rankings

Florida Gators’ New Year’s Six bowl chances look better in latest College Football Playoff rankings

UF cracks the top 12, and UCF has the highest ranking ever by a Group of Five team.
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs place tight end O.J. Howard on injured reserve with foot, ankle injuries

Bucs place tight end O.J. Howard on injured reserve with foot, ankle injuries

O.J. Howard sustained separate injuries on the same play during the Bucs' 38-35 loss to the Giants Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.
Updated: 5 hours ago
Former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey leaves Cubs for “personal reasons”

Former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey leaves Cubs for “personal reasons”

Hickey had spent 11 years with Rays before leaving following 2017 season.
Updated: 6 hours ago
Bucs-49ers is a matchup of turnover-margin futility

Bucs-49ers is a matchup of turnover-margin futility

It might be fitting that the game between the NFL's two most giving teams will be played on Thanksgiving weekend.
Updated: 6 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Start at precincts to restore trust in our voting system

Here are Wednesday’s letters to the editor
Updated: 8 hours ago

Hernando school board: Longtime educator Duval takes over as chairperson

Susan Duval, who spent many years as a principal in Hernando County, was recently reelected to the board.
Updated: 8 hours ago