Sunday, July 10, 2011

taking a dirt nap

Something K wrote, got me thinking about something I often think about: care of the very elderly. That is, resuscitating, providing expensive care, etc. When I see some 80 or 90 year old coming in really sick I think: Grandpa wants to die but we aren't going to let him.

More and more we are seeing peole over 90 in the ER, sometimes over 100, and of course there is an explosion of people in their 80's. Because we want to live forever in this country, nobody talks about resuscitation, what you would want done if you are really ill, etc. So millions and millions of dollars are spent on futile care. Eventually we will have to deal with this but of course we will wait until medicare is completely bankrupt. Thats what we do. We aren't exactly a proactive country.

The debate over this will get very, very ugly as it already has over something as simple as whether your doctor can get paid to talk to you about end of life care. Here's the deal though: either we deal with it or the country goes into a depression ten times worse than the current one, hospitals close left and right.

This is already going on in other countries and somehow the world has not come to an end. It will happen here. Sooner rather than later. Everybody dies. Even your mom and dad.


Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

We all will die; there’s no getting around it.

Please peeps, put your DNR in a ziploc baggie and tape it to the wall over your bed. You could need it tonight.

rnraquel said...

People get really confused and let their emotions cloud their thinking when it comes to their loved ones' quality of life vs quantity of life. It is so frustrating and sad for everyone watching the situation unfold and truly tragic for the patient.

Please, think long and hard about what you would want and let those wishes be known!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but in some cases they DONT want to die. And its not that noone is letting them. Its that theyre perfectly alert in their heads, and perfectly capable of making thier wishes known, and are not at all interested in anyone taking any decisions of that sort for them! Not everyone over 80 has lost the will to live, nor even the ability to think for themselves!