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  1. Flora
    Flora at | | Reply

    Hello. I am a AGNG 200 student at the Erickson School of Aging, and I strongly agree with this post. I understand how hard it can be to make decisions in an area that you have no idea in, and how the pressure for your mother’s situation influences you to become more involved in the medical field. Within your decision making, you talked about examining the pros and the cons, and how the cons can have your mother incapacitated and in a nursing home. Paying for long term care in a nursing home is increasingly becoming a dilemma for many people. According to “Long Term Care Financing Model,” Washington, DC, the cost of Medicaid by 2020 will be nearly $40 billion dollars, and out-of-pocket will be nearly $60 billion dollars. Our out-of-pocket expense refers to costs that are not covered by Medicaid for older adults and right now, Medicare only covers about half of the costs. Due to those circumstances, I can see how you would not want to also add that burden to you or your mother, as she would probably much rather stay in the comfort of her own home. Apart from medical costs, I also understand the toll it takes upon the caregiver emotionally and physically to make such large life changing decisions.

  2. Hanuman Gowda
    Hanuman Gowda at | | Reply

    Hello! I am a student at the Erickson School of Aging, currently enrolled in the AGNG 200 class and I definitely agree with all your points you brought up. It is so hard nowadays to believe what a doctor is saying because we do not know if everything they are telling us is always 100% correct. We as human beings desire things to be 100% correct when it comes to family members and other loved ones because we do not want them to get hurt or be completely lost. In fact, not all medications or treatments proposed by doctors are always right. My grandmother has been given wrong medications several times, but luckily my mother could figure it out (since she herself is a doctor) and we switched doctors to someone who was more reliable and well known. It is definitely a scary world out there and we need to keep an eye on our elders because they will start to believe anything the doctor is saying. Going off of that, I would be even afraid to leave my grandparents or even parents in a nursing home because they treat the elders as children and they never give them any say. According to Harry R. Moody, author of the “Aging: Concepts and Controversies”, “elders at nursing homes have a diminished locus of control, in which they lose the ability to control such basic matters as bedtime and meal choices.” If nursing homes do that, elders can become depressed and that hurts all of us. What if elders have a diminished locus of control at hospitals too? Nurses and doctors could be forcing elders to do things which are absolutely unnecessary, but the elders cannot do anything about it. For example, a nurse force a medication upon an elder, but the elder would have no details of the medication or even what it is supposed to do or prevent. Obviously, these are pretty rare cases, but you just have to watch out for your loved ones. Doctors, nursing home assistants, or any other older adult caretaker, are sometimes hard to believe and it takes a toll on us. Everyone wants the best for their loved ones, so in the times we live in now, trust is one of the biggest things that is difficult to come by, especially from people who barely know our elder loved ones.

  3. Taking care (what I’m reading) | Susannah Fox

    […] 2. Moments of Decision Making, by Judy Fox (shared by Bill Thomas) […]

  4. Madeleine Kolb
    Madeleine Kolb at | | Reply

    Judy, I completely agree that “Anyone who has gotten seriously involved with care giving for a loved one knows how deeply involved one has to get in the medical world; hospitals, doctors and medical treatments.” In fact, I think it’s essential to do that for one’s own health care.

    I was particularly interested in your post because I was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis, and the suggested treatment was twice-a-year injections of Prolia. My internet research indicated that a number of possible adverse side effects had been reported during initial tests–many of which affected only a small percentage of those receiving an injection.

    What was striking about the data was that–for many side effects–the percent of people in the control group who reported them was nearly the same as in the group which actually received Prolia. An example is back pain–reported by 34.7% in the Prolia group versus 34.6% in the control group. Since no one in the study knew whether she’d been injected with Prolia or with a placebo, the results are not too alarming. Based on my research and discussions with my primary health provider, I had a shot several months ago and haven’t yet noticed any adverse side effects.

    1. judyefox
      judyefox at | | Reply

      Hi Madeleine, I’m very glad that the injection has been fine for you and very interesting to hear about the study that was done. I did quite a lot of research and reflecting and in the end decided not to give my mom the injections…I felt in the end the cons outweighed the pros but of course it’s hard to be 100% certain…only hindsight perhaps will give that. I couldn’t bear the idea of possibly adding pain to her life and also it seemed from what I could understand it was unlikely she would fracture her bones. But it’s a risk…certainly not an easy decision to make. warmly, Judy Fox

      1. Madeleine Kolb
        Madeleine Kolb at | | Reply

        Judy, These medical decisions are really not easy–in part because every situation is different. For example, I’m in my early 70’s and not at extremely high risk of bone fracture, based on my bone scan this spring. However, I’m at some risk because I walk on a nearby trail used by lots of cyclists and I drive on streets with heavy traffic. If I were to break my spine or a hip, having osteoporosis would cause the bone to heal slowly.

        Another consideration is that–if I were incapacitated for some months–it would be a great burden for my husband to care for me in addition to doing his own work. He’d even have to do the cooking which is, definitely, not his strong suit.

  5. myElderCareConsultant
    myElderCareConsultant at | | Reply

    My heart goes out to you Judy. It’s not easy setting in the gray areas of elder care and aging parents. My dad was hospitalized last year and was in ICU for several days. I was so glad I was there to help guide the medical team because they didn’t have a clue of what the situation was at home nor did they ask. I hope you find peace with your decision… One thing for sure, you’re mom is blessed beyond belief to have you at her side advocating for her!

    1. judyefox
      judyefox at | | Reply

      Thank you very much. One does realize how important it is to be there for one’s aging parents and how attentive one must be. I do feel lucky that i am able to be here with her as well. And it isn’t always easy. Thank you again for your heartfelt response. Warm regards, Judy

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