March 2020 – Do you care for vulnerable elders, memory care patients, the complex chronically ill, or nursing home residents?
Tips for conversations about future care decisions during a pandemic:
For frail nursing home patients: “Your father would not likely survive an acute respiratory illness that required a ventilator or the intensive care unit. I believe this may only prolong his death, not his life. Should we change his POLST to limited interventions or comfort-focused care?”
For medically complex patients: “With your advanced lung disease, I believe that a serious respiratory infection would tip your situation toward a very poor prognosis. Can we talk about what a hospitalization might mean for you?”
For dementia patients: “Your mom seems comfortable in her current setting. I worry a hospitalization would produce fear and agitation. If she became sick with a serious infection, would you want to focus on comfort care in place?”
Please contact us if you feel a patient needs comfort-focused care for an acute respiratory illness, and they are unlikely to survive. Even if there isn’t time to admit to hospice, we can help you with respiratory comfort ideas.