Seattle, WA - March 10, 2020: Washington State's Mail in Ballots for Presidential Primary Elections Being Dropped off at Designated Collection Box

“In my family, voting was the highest honor of citizenship,” his daughter, Judith Kozlowski, said. “You owed it to your country to vote; that was always the message.”

It remains important to Mr. Kozlowski, now a resident of an independent living facility in Chevy Chase, Md. He didn’t want to vote in person this year, wary of exposure to the coronavirus, so his daughter helped him request a mail-in ballot — even though he has developed dementia.

“Some days he’s right on the mark, sometimes he’s not,” said Ms. Kozlowski, 68. Her father can grow disoriented; prone to wandering, he requires round-the-clock caregivers. Yet he watches “The PBS NewsHour” and CNN “religiously,” his daughter said, and tuned in for the presidential and vice-presidential debates.

He has macular degeneration, so Ms. Kozlowski read him the ballot during short, kitchen-table sessions over several days. It probably helped that as a former federal prosecutor and elder justice consultant, she knew the rules better than most.

Her father could tell her which candidates he wanted to vote for.

And that is all it takes.

“There are many misperceptions of what ‘capacity to vote’ is,” said Charles Sabatino, director of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging. “Incapacity to follow a recipe and cook dinner doesn’t mean incapacity to vote. The inability to remember your grandchildren’s names doesn’t mean you can’t vote.”

What is required — as the commission and the Penn Memory Center point out in a new guide — is the ability to express a preference.

Read more in the New York Times.

Featured Image: Seattle, WA – March 10, 2020: Washington State’s Mail in Ballots for Presidential Primary Elections Being Dropped off at Designated Collection Box. Shutterstock / Anna Hoychuk.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

How to Rescue a Grieving Friend

How to Rescue a Grieving Friend

Before my father’s decline, he was a preeminent scholar of Black religious history. As brilliant as he’d been, I wasn’t sure, at the end of his...

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

1 Comment

  1. Hello all, as this posting is centered on those with dementia, I thought I might share the study me and my team at UC, Berkeley are currently recruiting for. This study is testing in-home assistive technology for caregivers to those with dementia and is complete free to participate. Our research is funded by the NIH and provides participants with a “Presence Caregiver Research Kit” that includes home-monitoring sensors that provide support for caregivers in their homes. You can also earn up to $150 by completing easy questionnaires.

    I’ve been working with caregivers for over a year and it’s become so clear to me how much this community is in need of more support and resources and it’s been an honor to conduct research for this community. If you’re interested in learning more and finding out if you’re eligible, please visit our study website at https://research.presencefamily.com/

    Reply

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.

%d bloggers like this: