Sarah D'Alessio, MSW
Action on Alzheimer's and Dementia
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that could result in cognitive changes. Consequently, individuals with Alzheimer’s may lose the capacity to make decisions as the disease advances. This could lead to legal, financial and end-of-life decisions being made by family caregivers and others. In Bermuda, recent advances in decision making rights were made without the inclusion of individuals with cognitive impairment. Sarah D’Alessio’s project is a community engagement initiative to identify and support individuals with cognitive impairment by helping them engage in policy and practice development. Her project will use personal narratives of individuals with cognitive impairment to help develop and frame workshops with key stakeholders including family, health, social and legal support professionals. These workshops will study existing rights and participants’ practices and beliefs. Finally, through D’Alessio’s role as a policy analyst in the Ministry of Health in the Government of Bermuda, she will engage in (participant-identified) approaches to increase community awareness of decision making rights. If successful, this study could uphold decision making rights of individuals with dementia in Bermuda and has the potential to be scaled globally.
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