The Family’s Role in Cognitive Care Planning

Understanding the benefits of the family’s involvement in the cognitive care planning process

The diagnosis of cognitive impairment can present significant life challenges to both patients and families. In this post, we’ll focus on the role of the family in cognitive care planning (CCP) and the benefits of their involvement in the process.

Learning that a family member has developed cognitive impairment can evoke significant emotional uncertainty and stress:

    • Whether the family member can continue to live independently, and for how long
    • What to expect as the family member declines
    • Which family members can provide care and supervision, and how they will fit these new demands into their own lives
    • Anticipatory grief about end of life and/or about changes in personality
    • Conflict among family members about caregiving or planning decisions

The requirements of the CCP include a combination of direct dialogue with the physician and the family’s and caregiver’s input regarding their family member.

BrainCheck Care™ assists the physician by providing a systematic but brief method of collecting crucial family observations about the patient’s current level of function, home safety, caregiver stress, and end-of-life wishes.

These assessment tools also provide a channel for the family to make their observations and direct their concerns to the physician. Formal assessment gives both the family and physician the ability to take stock of current life function and expected course of illness. This provides an opportunity for the physician to provide support, guidance, referral, and resource identification to assist the family.

Revising the CCP at recommended 6-month intervals also provides an opportunity to assess the patient’s functioning and quality of life as compared to the initial plan, thereby assisting in adapting to the changing needs of the patient and family.

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