So to get it right at the end of life you need to document your final wishes, your end of life papers. Let’s start the conversation about your end of life documents.
My 97 1/2 year old dad is back in the hospital. He does not like the hospital, even though it is the hospital where I studied nursing almost fifty years ago (which he persists in telling every nurse). Dad would much rather be at home, sitting in his chair reading. He has made it clear that he does not want to go back to the hospital.
The problem is…..his wonderful wife cannot just let him sit at home when things get extreme. I do not blame her one bit. She has been to hell and back with the problems of old age, and then some.
The question is how do we manage a situation like this, how do we get it right at the end of life?
Getting it Right at the End of Life
We want to address the final wishes of the elder, but we cannot just sit back and let them die in front of us.
In my opinion, the best thing is to speak directly with their physician and advise them of their patient’s final wishes. In this case, the doctor, a close friend, did put my dad in the hospital and gave him minimal treatment. The decision was made easier for dad’s wife, as she only called the doctor. She did not make the decision. It is a struggle to reach this point, but hopefully it will be understood by the elder. One cannot simply stand by and let someone die without trying to aid in some way.
People do not like to hear this discussion, but I feel it is vital. Begin the conversation about end of life documents. Talk to your parents, your spouse, your significant other. Tell them what you want. Find out what they want. Open up the conversation. Do your best to accommodate final wishes when the time comes…and maybe they will do their best to accommodate yours. And write it down. Get your POLST, your MOLST, your Advance Directives, your Caring Is Not Enough.
Do it now, because you never know when the time will come. Get it right at the end of life!