ElderCarelink Blog

Caregivers need to know elders’ wishes about prolonging life

by Dorian Martin
July 24th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Lately, the question of quality of life vs. quantity of life for elders has been on my mind.

That question initially arose because of the ongoing coverage of Nelson Mandela’s health concerns. There have been conflicting reports about his status. Mandela, who has been hospitalized for a while, was described as being in a permanent vegetative state in a court filing while other reports indicated that he was responsive, but placed on life support to assist with breathing. (USA Today reported that as of his 95th birthday, Mandela is steadily improving.) A South African newspaper suggested that the country’s former president doesn’t have a living will, which could be problematic when end-of-life decisions need to be made since his family seems to not be a united group.

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Caregivers may need to share thoughts about death

by Dorian Martin
May 1st, 2013 at 10:00 am

As a caregiver, I find that I think more and more about death. However, it seems that there aren’t too many places where you can verbally explore the concept of death. Bring it up at a party and you’ll see your conversation mates soon move on to other people. Broach the subject during lunch and watch for the pregnant pause.

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Estimating the risk of mortality for elders

by Dorian Martin
March 20th, 2013 at 10:10 am

My 87-year-old father has a number of health issues. He has a bad back and difficulty walking. His lack of mobility makes it difficulty for him to get in and out of the bathtub in order to bathe. He also has high blood pressure and is prediabetic. So how bad is his health picture, especially in terms of how long he might live?

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Making life or death decisions

by Dorian Martin
March 13th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Who should have a say over how a person lives and dies when he or she is diagnosed with an advanced disease? I am sure that many of the readers who visit this website are facing this issue with a loved one. At this point, I am not one of them.

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Respecting elders’ wishes to die at home

by Dorian Martin
February 21st, 2013 at 10:00 am

Many people say they want to die at home. Furthermore, some elders who face critical health issues such as cancer or heart disease do not want any extra medical interventions to prolong their lives. Instead, they want to focus on the quality, instead of the quantity, of their remaining days. So are these wishes coming true?

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