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5.3 Planning ahead and talking about the future

Having plans in place early will help with making decisions in future.

Planning can be difficult 

Planning ahead and thinking about the future can be challenging at any time. Talking about the future with dementia may be even more challenging. 

Talk to the person with dementia about their future wishes 

Start conversations about future wishes in a causal setting, perhaps around the kitchen table, or when out for a walk. This can take the pressure off. Talk about things such as: 

  • What makes life meaningful? 
  • What are your values and beliefs?  
  • What are your fears?  
  • What do you NOT want? 
  • Or, click here for some extra conversation starters. 

If the person with dementia finds these questions difficult, try to ask them to name just one person that they trust, who could speak on their behalf if they were unable to. This should be someone the person with dementia can rely on to share their point of view. 

Below is a video from Advance Care Planning Canada that shows people’s experiences with talking about their future wishes related to various health conditions.  

  • Although this video is in English, you can click ‘Watch on Youtube’ to watch it with captions in the language of your choice. First, select the settings button (looks like a cogwheel), then “Subtitles”, followed by “Auto-translate”. Then, select “French” or another language of your choice. The video should then play with subtitles on the screen. Click here to view the video.

Once you or someone else has talked about the person with dementia’s wishes, the next step is to ensure that their wishes are written down.

Having the right documents in place means that the views and beliefs of the person you support can be shared with others, including health or social care providers. 

Start conversations about future wishes

Begin conversations with the person with dementia in a causal setting, perhaps around the kitchen table, or when out for a walk. This can take the pressure off things.

Start with things like:

  • What makes life meaningful?
  • What are your values and beliefs?
  • What are your fears?