Alzheimer's Disease and Advance Directives: A Primer for Primary Care Physicians

Originally presented on September 17, 2015

Wayne Shelton, PhD, MSW
Professor of Medicine and Bioethics, Alden March Bioethics Institute, Albany Medical College

Kevin Costello, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Attending, Department of Medicine, Albany Medical College

The New York State Department of Health is engaged in a multi-pronged effort to improve care and support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well their caregivers. This webcast will raise awareness among healthcare providers, especially primary care physicians (PCPs), about the looming crisis of increasing Alzheimer's disease in this country. The program will provide critical information and tools to prepare these healthcare providers to have constructive conversations with patients that have remaining capacity about their preferences for medical care in the advance stage of disease.

In addition, the webcast gives participants a working knowledge of the ethical basis for advance directives, including the professional obligation to fully disclose the diagnosis of dementia and to have a meaningful conversation with each patient and his or her caregiver about advance directives. Specific options to ensure patients are not over treated with potentially burdensome medical interventions when acute medical problems arise will also be covered. By providing tools to help physicians have meaningful conversations about advance directives with patients and their caregivers, this webinar will not only remind participants of the increasing number of new Alzheimer’s patients they are likely to have under their care, but also help them capitalize on the window of opportunity for effective conversations about advance directives.

Learning Objectives
After watching this webcast participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the dramatic impact that the growing number of new Alzheimer’s patients has on both patients and caregivers
  • Describe healthcare providers' professional obligation within their window of opportunity to have and document conversations with patients with remaining capacity about advance directives
  • Identify the criteria for determining capacity

The planners, moderator, and presenters do not have any financial arrangements or affiliations with any commercial entities whose products, research or services may be discussed in this activity.

No commercial funding has been accepted for this activity.

Continuing Medical Education Credits

The School of Public Health, University at Albany is accredited by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School of Public Health, University at Albany designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Continuing Medical Education Credits are offered until September 30, 2018.

Continuing Nurse Education Contact Hours

The University at Albany School of Public Health is an Approved Provider of continuing nurse education by the Northeast Multi-State Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This offering is approved for 1 nursing contact hour(s).

Nursing Contact Hours are offered until September 30, 2018.

Certified Health Education Specialist Contact Hours

Sponsored by the School of Public Health, University and Albany, SUNY, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 1.0 total Category I contact education contact hours. Maximum advanced-level continuing education contact hours available are 0.

Continuing Education Contact Hours are offered until September 30, 2018. 

Social Work

University at Albany, School of Social Welfare, Social Work Continuing Education Program is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board of Social Workers as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Social Workers - #0011

This offering is approved for 1 social work self-study continuing education hour.

Social Work continuing education hours are offered until September 30, 2018.