Excerpt from: Living with Dying (click for full article)
Last December, Compassion and Choices of Washington unveiled a new kind of advance directive for life planning while living with Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia. This document is the first of its kind focused on these specific challenges. With a similar purpose as the living will, the Alzheimer's and Dementia directive aims to have a person's intentions known when the person isn't in a place to speak for him or herself.
The Alzheimer's directive is different from the usual advance health care directive. An advance health care directive is used to specify what medical actions should be undertaken if the patient is too ill or incapacitated to make those decisions. A typical question for those completing these documents is whether or not the patient wants aggressive medical treatment—such as a feeding tube or artificial ventilation—when the patient is dying or in a persistent vegetative state.