Dear Editor: Advance directives inform those who will be taking care of us in the future how we want finances handled and what medical care preferences we have.

The new "Health Directive for Dementia," at, addresses one's wishes in the event of the development of dementia. Though not legally binding, it could be an invaluable guide to those making future health care decisions regarding the level of care you wish to receive when experiencing mild, moderate or severe dementia.

There is no known cure for Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Over a period of five to 20 years, people with dementia lose their memory; may become aggressive, striking out at people they love; lose the ability to speak, eat, and walk; and eventually die from the disease.

Act now to do what you can to control your future care, save spending money on unnecessary/unwanted medical care or avoidable legal costs, ease the burden for those making decisions for you, and bring everyone involved the peace of mind that your desires can be followed because they have been expressly communicated. Complete this form and provide copies to the appropriate parties. If you need assistance, contact your local aging/senior services agency or your attorney.

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Jeanne Larson


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