A distinguished, well-traveled, elderly, gentleman had a heart attack on Thanksgiving Day. His family called Golden Pond Elder Care Strategies for assistance because they all lived hours away from his home.
He spent the Christmas holiday in a rehabilitation facility regaining strength and stamina, planning to visit and choose among a variety of assisted living communities with the care manager. Unexpectedly, he returned to the hospital with a new life-threatening condition. Instead of preparing for a move to an assisted living community he was faced with end of life decisions that had been put off.
The time had come to carefully decide which tests and treatments to do, particularly if they were invasive or painful. He was weak and intermittently confused. After many close calls in the past, this time he was not getting better.
A hospice consultation was done and palliative care professionals joined the Intensive care team. His attorney wrote his will at his bedside in the intensive care unit.
Without a decision maker present or written directives, the care manager raised important questions and offered the information she had obtained from the initial comprehensive assessment, subsequent conversations, and the family’s input. The care transitioned from prolonging life to comfort care.
Together the family, with the help of the care manager, helped their loved one die with the dignity he deserved.