Planning for the future is something many do everyday. Healthcare is no different. Every patient has the right to participate when deciding what kind of medical care is appropriate for them. This information is being offered to help patients and families in nursing homes clarify healthcare related goals and make important decisions about medical treatment.
What is Polypharmacy?
It is “The practice of administering many different medicines especially concurrently for the treatment of the same disease.” [WMDD] It means taking more drugs than clinically indicated; and some state it occurs when any senior takes more than five medications total. [Morley JE.]
The following article is from the Washington Post, April 30/12. It is by a woman diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, describing her experiences and reasons for choosing to not have aggressive treatment of the cancer.
It is similar to another article included on this website Acceptance: when to say stop (Waging Peace in the War on Cancer). Both articles offer a perspective for patients and their families when deciding whether to focus on a primary goal of comfort or cure in the face of an incurable disease.
Planning for the future is something many do everyday. Healthcare is no different. Every patient has the right to participate when deciding what kind of medical care is appropriate for them. This information is being offered to help patients and families in hospital clarify healthcare related goals and make important decisions about medical treatment.
After reading the handouts in the admission packet, this can be used to guide decisions about future healthcare, including preparing a “Living Will”; discuss this with the nurse and doctor, and ask the doctor to follow orders which will reflect your preferences
For most people, the word ‘cancer’ brings feelings of uncertainty about the future: what to do next, what to expect, what is the best medical treatment, and last (perhaps the most important) what will be the outcome? Learning as much as you can about your diagnosis and choices for treatment is the first step in taking control of a disease that is commonly viewed with a sense of apprehension and dread.
Acceptance: when to say stop (Waging Peace in the War on Cancer)
When faced with a potentially terminal diagnosis, or one with serious implications for our health, people sometimes question themselves or their doctor: “what’s the right thing to do”.
Everyone wants to live as long as possible but also as comfortable as possible – clean, dry, pain-free, and well fed. Years ago most people died fairly quickly: they were active until they developed pneumonia or some overwhelming infection from an injury. Now, our drugs and technology can keep people alive for months or years but not necessarily without pain – chronic diseases can produce a “slow death”.
Every person has the option of choosing the most appropriate healthcare for their individual situation. Sometimes knowing when to say ‘enough’ to certain treatments without seemingly ‘giving up hope’ can be a great concern as well as a challenge; but one which can ultimately lead to a sense of relief. The following information will help explain important healthcare choices based on an understanding of ‘Goal Focused Care’.
What is suffering? When people hear of someone „suffering., they typically think of “pain”. But, it is more than that. The American Century Dictionary defines suffering as “to undergo, experience, or be subject to pain, loss, grief, defeat, change, etc.” And, Cassel defines it as “the state of severe distress associated with events that threaten the intactness of [the] person.”