Friday, August 17, 2012

Can your family answer these 5 questions?

This is so wrong, selfish and so misguided. Her late father, a Holocaust surviver near to his 90th birthday, had a car incident in November, 2010. After 19 months in hospital with head and spinal cord injuries, he was in a coma. Doctors recommended turning off life support. The daughter fought it. The doctors won.

I know, when my husband chose to shut off life suport for his mother, it was a difficult decision, but one that had to be made in terms of love, quality of life; not quantity. This is a huge determinant for all of my hospice clients. They are all clear, and tell me what they have lost most of their peers, their health is deteriorating, and cannot see, hear or work and play anymore. His mom recovered, and her body made the decision to live, not the artificial life suport system.

The daughter now wants to advocate for 'patient rights'. It is the right, the dignity of a human being to live well, not to live hooked up to a machine.
When a patient is in a coma, it is up to the family to advocate on the patient's behalf. Our laws determine who is the substitute decision-maker.

It is crucial that you tell your family members what you wish in such a situation. DO you want dignity or longevity, with no hope of recovery? Do you want bedsores, nursing staff turning you every few hours, being fed through an IV?
Can you, or your loved ones, answer these 5 questions? If not, you need to read my book.

When speaking about healthcare at a PEO meeting, I was asked when a family friend discloses to family the health issues a friend suffers. Some, not wanting to tell family their life-limiting health, can be at risk for danger and serious falls. It is important that family understands the entire picture. Family need to determine is a senior is making unwise, unsafe choices about their health and living situations. My Dad didn't disclose his headaches, and getting lost when driving. This is a typical symptom of dementia, which could have led to an early diagnosis of his brain tumour.

Health Care and Privacy 

is determined by the risks a senior takes. If a senior puts herself at risk for falls, by choosing to live without help, they will surely have an impact on the family should they end up in hospital.
It can be a symptom of self-abuse, and self-neglect. Families must be vigilant.

Age, illness or disability should not preclude top care, argues daughter of man whose case went to court

Read more 

We don't call it a 'handicap' any more. This hearkens to the days of those begging on the streets, removing their cap for a handout. The politically correct term, in 2012, is 'disabled'.

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