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Palliative Pearl:

What Care Would I Want if I Develop Dementia?

October 2019 –

There are now advance directives designed to change as dementia progresses and goals of medical care change.

A simple version that provides good overall guidance is available as a free download from

This directive does not address nutrition and feeding, a topic which remains controversial.  Some people are choosing no “medicalized” feeding (no thickened liquids or nutritional shakes) and/or no spoon feeding.

The developer of this directive advises it be completed before mild cognitive impairment develops.  Even at this stage, people can have difficulty imagining their future selves.

For a more complete discussion of advanced care planning in dementia, visit the End-of-Life Washington website.

About Hospice of the Northwest

Hospice of the Northwest is a skilled, caring and compassionate team of nursing, medical, social and spiritual professionals, volunteers and generous donors. Together, we provide comprehensive care and comfort for patients facing serious illness and the loved ones who care for them. We’ve been serving the residents of Skagit, Island, San Juan and Snohomish Counties since 1989.

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