Who should consider completing the Dementia Directive?
If a person would want to limit or stop handfeeding at a certain point in dementia progression, then completing our dementia directive is a good idea. Earlier in this guide it was noted that a health care agent can make decisions for artificial nutrition and hydration if they know your wishes. However, handfeeding is not considered “artificial,” and in order for your agent to consent to stop handfeeding, which may cause concern from others, your wishes regarding hand feeding should be carefully documented in writing. This form enables you to do just that.
Please note, this form should only be utilized if you wish to limit oral feeding (i.e., handfeeding). If you would not want to have handfeeding limited (which is the default assumption), then this form is not appropriate or necessary. If you have early-stage dementia, still have capacity to make your own decisions, and do not want to wait until dementia is advanced to stop eating and drinking, you have the right to stop. Just as all advance directives, this form would only take effect once you lose capacity to make your own decisions.