AlzU Blog

Should Your Loved One with Alzheimer's Dementia Vote?

Election day is just around the corner-on November 8th.  While it’s certainly every American’s right to vote, for many seniors, getting to the polls can be a difficult challenge.  Many seniors, including those with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), can no longer drive and/or have mobility problems. 
Voting for those with AD

For those with AD and their caregivers, there are other challenges when it comes to voting, particularly when it comes to Alzheimer’s dementia.  How do caregivers know when it’s appropriate for their loved one to vote and when is not recommended?  Here are some guidelines to help caregivers decide whether their loved one with AD should vote in this years’ election.

•There is no absolute measure or valid test to determine if a person with dementia is able to vote or not.
•It’s NEVER legal to vote for another person in his/her absence.
•There are basically 2 conditions that MUST be present for a person to vote they are:
1.The voter must understand what they are doing (such as choosing between the candidates)
2.The voter realizes the person who gets the most votes will take office

Knowing the parameters surrounding the right to vote, it’s up to the caregiver (or a family member) to make the decision as to whether a loved one with AD should vote.
Other considerations include:
•Has your loved one expressed an interest in voting this year?
•Was voting important to your loved one in the past?
•Can your loved one voice his/her understanding of the voting process

Tips for assisting your loved one with AD in the voting process:
•Request a mail in ballot to allow your loved one ample time to fill out the ballot in a familiar environment
•Keep questions short-ask only one at a time to avoid overwhelming him/her
•Ask questions a few times to ensure consistence in your loved one’s answers.
•Be supportive
•Avoid making the decisions for your loved one
•Allow him/her to fill out the ballot independently.

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