Listen Closely: Cognitively Impaired Adults Can Express Preferences for Care

Making Hard Choices: Respecting Both Voices

Investigators with the Family Caregiver Alliance conducted a study exploring to what extent adults with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment can make their preferences known regarding decisions involving their everyday care.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program Independent Choices: Enhancing Consumer Direction for People with Disabilities, which was designed to foster the development of consumer-directed home and community-based services for people of all ages with disabilities.

Key Findings: Among the study's key findings:

  • "Persons with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment are able to respond consistently to questions about preferences, choices and their own involvement in decisions about daily living." Gerontologist, 41(3): 374–382, 2001.
  • "Persons with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment are able to answer questions about their preferences for daily care and to choose a person to make a variety of decisions for them should they no longer be able to make decisions for themselves." Alzheimer's Care Quarterly, 4(1): 50–61, 2003.