One of the most difficult aspects of being your senior’s caregiver at the end of her life might be wondering what she would want in specific health situations.
These tips can help you to determine how you’re going to tackle this complicated decision.
If Possible, it’s Not Too Late to Ask
In some cases, you don’t have the luxury of being able to ask your senior what she wants you to do. But if it isn’t too late, take the opportunity now. As long as your senior is still able to understand what you’re asking and she’s able to express her preference, this isn’t a complete lost cause. Try asking and see what happens.
Gather as Much Information as You Can
Whether your senior is able to give you her opinion or not, gather as much information as you possibly can. Talk with her medical professionals and do some of your own research. When you hear terms or procedures that you don’t understand, make sure that you ask questions. It’s not a bother at all for someone to answer your questions. They’re experts and know these situations well, while you’re very new to what’s happening.
Think Back on Conversations You’ve Had with Your Senior
As you do more research and more thinking about the decisions you’re making, you might start to remember conversations you’ve had with your elderly family member in the past. Perhaps a family member or friend of hers was in a similar situation and she expressed an opinion then. These past conversations can help to guide you now in knowing what to do.
Use Substituted Judgment
Substituted judgment is a legal term that might apply in your situation. It means that you’re putting yourself in your senior’s position and thinking about how she would most likely respond. You might not make exactly the decision that your senior would have made, but it’s probably a lot closer than you think. You’re using your compassion and all of the information you have at your disposal to make the best decision you can.
If your senior hasn’t been able to share with you her specific needs and wants in a given situation, you’re always going to have some doubts about your decisions. What you can do, however, is to rely on the support you have around you. Hospice elder care providers can help you find resources to get the information you need.