End of Life Care
Caring for a loved one at the end of their lives can be stressful. You want to ensure that the patient can transition from this life as smoothly as possible. While some things are beyond your control, some discussions will make decisions easier on both you and your loved one. It is essential to have these discussions before your loved one is in need. If possible, make these decisions early and revisit them over time as they may change.
A will distributing money and items is essential for survivors, but it is also essential to know what your loved one’s wishes are for incapacitation. The living will cover how long you or your loved one would want to be hooked to machines sustaining life. One reason you will want to revisit this often is that as life progresses, you will often change your opinion on this. As a young mother, you might want to be sustained a little longer if there is a chance that the coma will end.
On the other hand, if you are elderly and have lost your spouse, you may not find this as appealing. These choices should be made clear, and you or your loved one should be sure proper documentation is maintained.
Another important decision is that of resuscitation. Someone must know what to do in case your heart stops. This decision may also change and may be independent of the living will. Many will not want to be hooked to machines, but they do want to be resuscitated if possible. Likewise, once people’s mental and physical health declines, they may prefer to pass peacefully. It is essential to have these discussions with a loved one or caregiver. If you know that you or a loved one will likely have a rapid decline, discuss when the choice not to resuscitate should be made. Loved ones can often change this order or decision for patients.
Medical Decision Maker
In some places, this is called a power of attorney. You will want to make sure that a loved one is aware of the medical choices you would make and be capable of conveying those wishes regardless of their feelings. This position is impossible for many people. They want to act based upon their feelings to keep the loved one around, but they have to act with the loved one’s wishes at heart.
Respect Each Other
While it is challenging to see how someone else views your decisions and wishes, both the elderly person and their caretaker need to be able to respect others’ wishes. While the patient’s wishes should be honoured, they must understand that the caregiver will have an emotional attachment to them. It will be challenging to make the decisions required.
Many challenging decisions must accompany the end of one’s life. The hardest decisions will always be the medical ones. No one wants to feel responsible for anyone else’s death. Having these decisions while the patient is still of sound mind will make those decisions clearer for the caregiver later. We wish you the best.