The Bottom Line
- Offers clear examples of how having (or not having) advance directives in place affects families.
- Provides sample documents, such as a living will and durable power of attorney for healthcare.
- Includes website addresses for information on advance directive laws in every state.
- Does not include a specific section on advance directives in the context of Alzheimer's disease.
- Includes a minor printing error (paragraph is repeated on successive pages).
- Taking the Mystery out of Advance Directives is available as an e-book or as a spiral-bound booklet.
- The author, Sharon Johnson, BSW, owns Case Management Solutions, LLC.
- The booklet is one in a series about eldercare (others cover Medicaid, Medicare, and nursing home placement).
Guide Review - Taking The Mystery Out Of Advance Directives
In this 36-page booklet, Johnson concisely explains the purpose of several documents and the potential problems that can be avoided by completing them well before they're needed. Topics include:
- Overview of advance directives
- Durable powers of attorney for healthcare
- General powers of attorney
- Legal guardianship
- Last will and testament
- Living wills
- Medical treatment plans
- Do not resuscitate orders
- Organ donation
She also includes a helpful glossary, sample documents, and a list of websites for information on advance directives laws in each state.
For families dealing with Alzheimer's disease, it would have been helpful to offer a section on what to do if no advance directives were completed at the time of diagnosis, as well as examples of how advance directives (or lack thereof) might affect how decisions are made at different stages of the disease.
Still, this is a great resource for caregivers and individuals recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's who need to complete or update their advance directives. Johnson emphasizes that it's never too early to complete advance directives, and that everyone -- including caregivers and those with Alzheimer's -- should make their wishes known.