Take Action Before It’s Too Late!

Don’t let your final wishes go unsaid

You can take action now so that your final wishes won’t go unsaid.  There are so many scenarios in our hospitals when we are in a situation and can’t express our wishes.  An ambulance transports you to the hospital.  You were having trouble breathing, your blood pressure is low and your heart is beating fast.  The doctor hears a crackle in your lungs and your hospital gown is soaked in perspiration.  The room is filled with nurses, physicians, technicians, respiratory therapist and equipment.  The doctor wants to place a tube in your throat and into the lungs to help with the breathing.  He checks the chart and finds there is no living will or do-not-resuscitate order.  Your power of  attorney couldn’t be reached.

We hope never to find ourselves or our loved ones in this condition.  It is heartbreaking and on a professional level, presents ethical dilemmas.  We carefully plan our education, investments and vacations.  Often times we do not express how we want the end our our lives influenced by medical intervention.

In a 2006 Pew Research survey it was estimated that only 29 percent of Americans had a living will.  There are an alarming number of questions to answer but you need to know and have in writing who you want to make medical decisions for you and what lifesaving measures you would accept.  You need to have these discussions long before you arrive at a hospital. Laura Fosler, a palliative care nurse practitioner says, “Filling out an advance directive should be as routine as going to the dentist.  You can always change it.”  Not having the advance directive can cause a lot of tension among siblings because everyone is trying to guess at what the wishes of the person are during such an emotional time.

Fosler continues to suggest having conversations ahead of time to reduce stress for families.   “It is infinitely easier for family members to make decisions for a loved one if the’ve had a previous opportunity to discuss their wishes for care”.

What to discuss…

  1. Would you want CPR if there was little likelihood that it would be beneficial?
  2. How would you feel about living in a nursing home?
  3. Would it be acceptable to you to remain on a breathing machine for months?

Please don’t let this happen to you.  Make your wishes known now.  Call Love 2 Live Care in San Diego for any care giving needs.  We are here to help you and your family.

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