My cousin’s mother-in-law is in her late 90s. She had horrible osteoporosis and can barely move. She has little cognitive function left. She requires nearly 24-hour care and no one would even attempt to say she has any quality of life left. She told her son years ago that she was “ready to go,” and had had enough.
And yet when I asked my cousin’s husband if his mother had any do-not-resuscitate orders, or had ever completed an advanced director outlining her wishes of what kind of end-of-life care she wanted, he said no. His sister, he said, just wasn’t ready for that yet. So what, I asked, will you do when/if your mother gets pneumonia? Will you treat it with antibiotics? Will you put her on a respirator? If she is no longer able to eat, will you feed her through a tube?
He couldn’t answer. And he was clearly uncomfortable with the questions. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at A Medical Writer's Musings on Medicine, Health Care, and the Writing Life*
This week I traveled to a small town outside Chicago to help my mother with her move from an assisted living facility to Alabama so she can live with my sister. I suspect many people, thanks to current economic times, have realized that the savings that were supposed to be there are not and change must happen. Such is the case with my mother.
It’s sure to be an emotional time, one which both of us had hoped to avoid. For her, she will be moving from the region of her childhood, her college, her marriage, her first home, her dream home, her caldron of first-grade student graduates and her dearest friends. For me, I will miss our spontaneous visits, morning coffee conversations, trips to the local restaurant in the town of my childhood, her gentle smile, and her helpful advice.
But this is not what I’ll miss the most. For me, I’ll miss the single greatest gift she could ever give a son: her kindness. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*
FineThanx is a new automated phone system that automatically calls your sick or elderly family members at home to check on how they’re doing.
The system can check in with loved ones once or twice a day, and if no one answers or the person is unwell, the system calls a member of his or her “care circle.”
If everything is fine, the FineThanx system will send you a report by email, so you can continue working or finish those 18 holes of golf, then check in for reassurance on your iPhone or personal computer afterwards.
Listen to a sample call here.
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*