Archive for category Death and Dying issues
Modern technology has produced something very special- a new companion for the elderly who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It is a Robotic Pet and it acts similar to a live pet, but it never runs away, has to be fed, or must make an expensive trip to the vet! These pets give these seniors a true companion and would be terrific for any activity program. The video is short, but very sweet and shows how these pets can make a real difference to your loved one. You can find these at Walmart.com.
Recently I came across a web-site for Biblical based bereavement support. The web-site allowed me to type in my zip code and showed a support group in my area, only 15 minutes away. This is a program for individuals who have lost a loved one (ie, not a pet). Here is how this program works:
- All participants go through curriculum based support material.
- It lasts for 13 weeks.
- When the 13 week program is over, many participants find that they have made close friends and even choose to attend another program.
- There is a minimal cost for materials.
- You can join any time, but are encouraged to start at the beginning of the session, in order to gain the most benefit.
- The views in this particular program are of the Christ centered community, but people of all faiths have joined and share that they have learned helpful information and tips.
- Meetings are held at churches or locations such as the public library.
Many people have advance directives, but they often express general, or vague ideas of how they would like to be cared for when they are unable to speak for themselves, or are in a clear state, or in the process of dying. One advance directive that is important to consider having, once you are older is the Do-Not-Resuscitate order. I was able to locate the DNR order for my state- South Carolina on the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website.
Thinking about end of life options is incredibly daunting. You have to try to consider different circumstances you may or may not be in; far down the road. Knowing which documents to complete, whether or not you need a lawyer, and who to give copies to, all add to the complexity of the decision making process. Read the rest of this entry »
This is an article about a woman who wanted to file a claim against a nursing home and her experience. It can be very difficult to prove the case of abuse and neglect in a long-term care facility without the use of technology (a video camera) because while abuse occurs, falls and other incidents of accidents also occur. While it can be challenging for a family member to prove abuse, it can be even more so, to prove neglect.
In this article, a case is described where a man with dementia who had a history of wandering was placed in a nursing home, only to die within a month of complications from dehydration. Is it possible the CNAs didn’t offer him enough to drink? Yes, this is possible. But did you know, some dementia patients who pace burn many calories (causing significant weight loss), while at the same time refuse to eat or drink enough to survive? Many patients with dementia who pace could use the benefit of additional calories through a feeding tube (G-tube), but they are so restless or agitated, that in some cases a G-tube can’t be inserted due the the dementia patient being at high risk for pulling it out.
Monitoring the delivery of good patient care can be challenging. I would like to hear your thoughts on this issue.
Dr. Ellison specializes in geriatric psychiatry. I thought his video was very informative.
Do you work in the medical field? Have you considered the impact bad news can have on a patient? In this story, a veteran received word from the VA that his cancer had spread to his lungs, and he had only weeks to live. Very sadly, the man committed suicide. But, only a day after the suicide, the hospital called and said the diagnosis was wrong and he was not about to die. The wife has a 2.5 million lawsuit. This is a very real reminder to doctors, nurses, social workers and other health care professionals- please double check such a diagnosis before handing it over to a patient. To those who have cancer and are struggling to have hope- know there is hope and that others love you and care for you. If you are depressed and feeling hopeless and have a desire to commit suicide, please talk to a friend, pastor or professional counselor about your feelings.
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