Handbook for Mortals : Questions and Answers About Advance Directives : What about planning for where to live when I am more disabled?

Most life-threatening illnesses can cause worsening disability. You are wise to make plans for how you will cope with disability. Those plans might require fixing up a first floor room as a bedroom or putting grab bars in the shower. They might require thinking through whether a family member might move in, or whether to convert a room to accommodate someone who could stay overnight. If you see the possibility of a nursing home in your future, visit several while you are still "in the driverís seat." You will learn a great deal about which one will suit you best and how to live well there. As you see more disability coming your way, it is a good idea to talk with an experienced social worker or home care nurse - someone who has "been there" with lots of other people. Their suggestions will be very helpful in making sure that you can live where you most want to be for as long as possible.

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Handbook for Mortals book cover Copyright © 1999, 2006 by Joanne Lynn. This extract from the Handbook for Mortals by Joanne Lynn, M.D. and Joan Harrold, M.D. is used with permission. To learn more about improving care at the end of life visit the main web site for Americans for Better Care of the Dying.
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