Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A good death

What is lacking in healthcare is the ability of civilians to understand end-of-life issues. Primarily, it is adult children watching out for failing family members who insist on staying in their own homes, whether this be a private home, retirement home, long-term care (formerly called 'nursing home') where nurses are few and far between compared to personal support workers (PSWs). 

I have heard horror stories of PSWs diagnosing illness, others who perceive how close to end-of-life a client may be, adult family members who say, "She's FINE!" and then the client passes over a month,  week, day later. The PPS is a fine example of an assessment tool nurses and physicians keep secret from us civilians. 

From a previous article: A good death
  • too many die in ERs; 40% in the last two weeks of life, 41% in long-term care, 84% of Ontario cancer patients in the last six months of life.
An ER isn't the right place to die, nor is it a place one needs visit if declared palliative, with the benefit of a good Hospice-focused team.

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