As people enter their senior years, important decisions need to be made. (Photo submitted)

Thompson-Nicola residents learn about Medical Assistance in Dying

MAiD provider shares experiences in Alzheimer Society of B.C. webinar to help families understand personal and complex issue

Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Based on the recently released Landmark Study, more than 85,000 people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias across B.C. – including many in the Thompson-Nicola region.

Because symptoms of the disease worsen over time, people in the early stages often express concerns about their future. They know their ability to make health-care decisions may diminish as they progress to the later stages.

Maintaining quality of life, preparing for advanced care and end-of-life care all may can become everyday topics for many families – and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help families have those conversations.

One topic related to end-of-life care that families may have questions about is Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).

It’s is a complex and personal issue. Since MAiD first became legal in Canada in 2016, there has been much public debate related to its use. The Alzheimer Society of B.C. has invited Dr. Dirk Coetsee, to share his experiences as a MAiD provider in B.C., as well as information about the current law and practices for MAiD in B.C. as it relates to dementia as part of a webinar series on end-of-life options.

This informational session will cover topics including:

• The history of MAiD legislation

• MAiD practices and processes

• Common questions related to waiver of final consent and advance requests and how these impact the people living with dementia

“We want to ensure that people living with dementia, their family members and caregivers understand what MAiD is and how it works, so they can make informed decisions about their personal and health-care, including at the end of life,” says Avery Milne, policy analysis provincial coordinator at the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “We recognize that people living with dementia are individuals and they have the same rights as everyone else, including the right to participate in decisions about their life and care.”

The webinar takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. Register for the webinar today at alzbc.org/end-of-life.