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Making Compassionate Decisions

Hour 1:           What’s the best way to approach health care and end-of-life decisions for loved ones? We’ll talk this hour with clinical bioethicist, medical educator and hospice volunteer Viki Kind. She lays out the tools and techniques needed to make informed, respectful decisions in her book “The Caregiver’s Path To Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices For Those Who Can’t” (Greenleaf Book Group, 2010).

  • Ginny

    How do you make the decision to put an elderly person in a facility when they so badly want to stay in their home?  My dad is 96, and last year, after taking his car keys away, I put in place a schedule that basically assures that he gets to do the things he wants to and has supervision for about half the day.  I’m comfortable with this, knowing that he’s not completely safe, but that he’s happy and has good people, including myself, regularly checking on him, taking him things to eat, taking him places, etc.  Some family members, however, feel that he should be in an assisted living facility.  He’s adamant about not wanting to go.  HELP!

  • Gerontologist

    Sounds like you are giving him autonomy and seeking to protect his safety. Let the family members bring it up to him if they think assisted living is better. You are not their mouthpiece! It might be more about them than him….stay the course and keep dialogue open with him about his declining reserve capacity. It’s a fact that at 96 his body is wearing out. neither you nor an assisted living facility that slow that down. 

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