Thursday, March 21, 2013

How do you want to die? Do you know?

Dear GAA Friend,

Finding out what dying patients want and treating them accordingly leads to happier patients who are in less pain and who use fewer healthcare dollars, UCLA researchers said Tuesday.
“You can improve care while reducing costs by making sure that everything you do is centered on what the patients want, what his or her specific goals are and tailor a treatment plan to ensure we provide the specific care he or she wants,” Dr. Jonathan Bergman, a Robert Wood Johnson clinical scholar at UCLA, said in a statement.

But have your loved ones been consulted about their wishes?  Have you considered what you would desire in this circumstance?

Many families express guilt and regret that they had never asked their loved ones about their preferences, about pain issues, about blessings, about pain relief, and more in the closing hours of their parents' or grandparents' lives.

In some countries, a written statement or advance directive that stipulates wishes can be helpful. . . .but not if its existence is unknown to family members.

What are your experiences?  Please share them with Global Action on Aging's reading community.

With thanks,

Susanne Paul for Global Action on Aging

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