Making end-of-life decisions for a loved one, especially when they living with dementia from conditions like vascular dementia, can be a daunting task. The implications of these choices not only impact the person but weigh heavily on the family members.

Today, I share my personal journey of confronting these hard choices with my mom and how it reshaped our understanding of her wishes.

1. The Unexpected Challenge: More Than Just a Healthcare Power of Attorney

While having a healthcare power of attorney offers some clarity and decision-making power in medical situations, it might not cover all scenarios. Especially when conditions worsen, and the potential for hospitalization looms large.

2. The EMS Call: Facing Real-Life Scenarios

Should there be an emergency, EMS might have to make a split-second decision that could contradict a person's end-of-life wishes. Such situations emphasize the importance of discussing and documenting those wishes clearly.

3. Tackling the Hard Topics: Family Conversations

Engaging in open dialogue with family members can bring up raw emotions but is essential in making informed decisions. Such discussions can provide clarity and unite the family in honoring the person's wishes.

4. A Heart-to-Heart with Mom: Hearing Her Wishes Directly

Regardless of their cognitive state, it's essential to engage with the person and understand their desires. These conversations, though painful, are vital in ensuring that their last wishes are respected.

5. The Doctor's Office: Making It Official

Documenting the wishes of the person is a crucial step. It not only provides a clear directive for healthcare providers but offers peace of mind to the family that they're honoring their loved one's desires.

6. The Emotional Toll: Grappling with the Reality of a DNR

Deciding on a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order is a profound emotional journey. While it may seem like giving up, it's an act of love that respects the person's choices about their life's final chapter.

7. The Power of a Healthcare Power of Attorney: When It Kicks In

A healthcare power of attorney only comes into play when the person cannot make decisions. It's crucial to understand its scope and limitations to prevent unintended medical interventions.

8. A Final Message: The Value of Tough Conversations

Every individual deserves the right to decide how their final moments should be. As challenging as these talks can be, they offer a way for family members to honor and respect the wishes of their loved ones.

Full Code Or DNR

Full Code Or DNR? That Is The Question Conclusion:

Life's unpredictability underscores the importance of open conversations and planning. The act of allowing our loved ones to determine their end-of-life wishes is a gift of love, respect, and dignity.

Remember, these conversations might be challenging, but they are crucial.

Thank you for tuning in, and I hope this personal narrative offers guidance and solace to those facing similar challenges.

Join me for more insights in my upcoming workshop.

Read More:

Why Having Your Parent With Dementia Help With Their Grooming Is Good For Them

Why Having Your Parent With Dementia Be Independent With Eating And Drinking Is Good For Them

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About the author

“Think Different” Dementia’s owner, Lizette Cloete, OTR/L graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1992. Lizette has almost 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, the latest being in the home health environment. She enjoys teaching on the topic of dementia, most recently presenting at a national conference on the topic “Dementia Made Simple”.

Disclaimer: These blogs, videos and any work done by Lizette Cloete OT, as a Member of Think Different Dementia, LLC, is given only as educational content and consulting work. This does not create an Occupational Therapist-Patient Relationship. The educational content and consulting work performed should not be considered medical treatment as an Occupational Therapist. The consulting work does not take the place of medical work normally performed by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Please consult a licensed Occupational Therapist for medical advice.

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