Objective: To examine the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of written advance planning among patients with or at risk for dementia-imposed decisional incapacity.
Design: Retrospective, cross-sectional.
Setting: University-based memory disorders clinic.
Participants: Persons with a consensus-based diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (N = 112), probable or possible Alzheimer disease (AD; N = 549), and nondemented comparison subjects (N = 84).
Measurements: Semistructured interviews to assess durable power of attorney (DPOA) and living will (LW) status upon initial presentation for a dementia evaluation.
Results: Sixty-five percent of participants had a DPOA and 56% had a LW. Planning rates did not vary by diagnosis. European Americans (adjusted odds ratio = 4.75; 95% CI, 2.40-9.38), older adults (adjusted odds ratio = 1.05; 95% CI, 1.03-1.07) and college graduates (adjusted odds ratio = 2.06; 95% CI, 1.33-3.20) were most likely to have a DPOA. Findings were similar for LW rates.
Conclusions: Although a majority of persons with and at risk for the sustained and progressive decisional incapacity of AD are formally planning for the future, a substantial minority are not.