4. Our Mom Has Alzheimer's and COVID-19

20 minutes

Assisted living facilities are being hit hard by COVID-19. In Episode 4 of Alz in the Fam, hosts Allan and Poli discuss the shocking news and aftermath of their mom testing positive for COVID-19. 

In Maryland, where Allan and Poli’s mom lives in a senior living community, a large percentage of coronavirus deaths have been in these senior care facilities and nursing homes. Cases began to appear at their mom’s facility about two weeks ago, so last week every resident and staff was tested for the virus. Turns out, their mom tested positive for the virus too.

For the most part, Allan and Poli’s mom is doing well, aside from lack of appetite and no ability to taste food. But this diagnosis led the siblings to having a larger conversation about their mom and her end of life care preferences.

The siblings have already taken steps to prepare for their mom’s end of life treatment - they have Advance Care Directive and Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment on file. The Alz In The Fam family urges all caregivers and children to have these conversations with your parents, no matter how difficult they may be. Being prepared is crucial.

Currently, some of your parents’ preferences or treatment options may have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to have these difficult conversations and be able to understand how different scenarios may unfold for you and your family.

Here are the resources that Allan and Poli mentioned during the episode that can help every family navigate difficult end of life care decisions:

Maryland Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment: https://marylandmolst.org/pages/molst_form.htm

 Being Mortal by Atul Gawande: https://www.amazon.com/Being-Mortal-Medicine-What-Matters-ebook/dp/B00JCW0BCY/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=being+mortal&qid=1589922153&sr=8-1

 NYTimes OpEd article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/04/opinion/coronavirus-ventilators.html

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