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Decisions

Wendy C

Registered User
Jan 29, 2012
121
West Midlands
Went to see Mom today with my step dad and was asked if the top carer could have a word with us. Went into office, door shut and was told we need to discuss DNR. Wow, what an awful decision we had to make. Of course, for Moms sake we said no to DNR. Felt very guilty and rather upset, but know we made the right decision. Mom would hate to be like she is now let alone if they bought her back. The decisions we have to make in this horrible evil disease. :(:mad:
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,989
London
Sorry, I am confused - you said no to DNR but you don't want her brought back? So you said yes? Whichever you choose, it's hard having to even think about it, isn't it.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,165
Victoria, Australia
You had a dreadful decision to make and perhaps there is a lesson for us all to learn from the predicament that you found yourself in.

If we can make those decisions for ourselves while we still have the capacity to do so, then it saves our loved ones from having to face what you are going through.

It is very confronting to articulate your own desires regarding your own death but if it reduces the pain for our families then it is a worthwhile exercise.

You are approaching a difficult time, you have my sympathy and I wish you strength to face whatever lies ahead.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,998
England
This was a decision I had to make just over 12 months ago and as a family we decided that there was to be no resuscitatiion,hospitalisation or intervention. His doctors and the staff of his nursing home were wonderful. He survived, though became totally dependant on others and the instructions remain in place.

I have noted in my own LPA for health and welfare that I do not want resuscitating if I have dementia or an illness where I have no quality of life, better I make the decision.

I am sure you have made the right decision and wish you, your Mum and Stepfather peace.
 
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canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,596
South coast
I was asked the same question a few months ago and made the same decision as jaymor. Having to do this definitely produced a wobbly moment for me too. She is OK, but Im sure it was the right choice.
 

starryuk

Registered User
Nov 8, 2012
1,306
When I had to make this decision for my mum, The CH gave me a questionnaire to fill out as well as asking me. The questions were along the lines of what would mum's wishes be and asking me to justify my answers. I gave examples of what mum had said or done in the past pre-dementia.

I thought it was a good idea as it made me focus explicitly on what she would want as opposed to what I thought was best for her. In any case, it made me feel more confident in the decision I made for mum.
 

Wendy C

Registered User
Jan 29, 2012
121
West Midlands
Thank you for all your replies. Not nice having to make decisions on others behalf, but we do what we feel is best and don't want them suffer any more than they are already.
 

Quilty

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
1,051
GLASGOW
Hello Wendy, this is a terrible decision to have to make. Its a pointer to all of us here still able to make our own decisions. We need to think about the future and talk about our wishes. If I had a terminal illness I would have DNR put on my notes. I was lucky as my Mum had spoken to me and her own GP so I was able to have it put on her notes when her health started to deteriorate and she started having TIAs. She also talked about what she wanted at her funeral.

So TPers, have this conversation with your own families.

Love Quilty
 

sleepless

Registered User
Feb 19, 2010
3,223
The Sweet North
For anyone wishing to learn more about the facts and choices concerning DNAR (and other end of life decisions) I can recommend a booklet by Hank Dunn 'Hard Choices for Loving People'.

https://www.stjosephhospicefoundation.org/images/pdfs/HardChoices.pdf

Perhaps I should add that the author is a chaplain in the US.
Nonetheless I found it relevant to decision-making here in the UK, and the emotional aspect knows no boundaries..
 
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Leolady63

Registered User
Jul 15, 2015
8
DNR decision

I had to fill out a form about Mum's future care including resuscitation and I know I did the right thing about choosing DNR as that is what she has always said. She keeps saying she wishes she was dead :(
 

Wendy C

Registered User
Jan 29, 2012
121
West Midlands
I have decided that next time I go to my doctors I am going to have it put on my notes DNR if i get to that stage of life I can't make the decision. I have told my husband and will tell my two daughters so that they don't have to make the decision if it comes down to it. Then they know its what I want and they don't have to decide. :)
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,839
England
My experience of signing the DNACPR form

Until recently I refused to put DNR on my mother's medical record because past experience with elderly relatives in hospital showed me that standards of care vary widely from ward to ward, let alone hospital to hospital; I could not be sure that if my mum was hospitalised that a DNR might not be interpreted as "don't try too hard." :(

DNR does not mean 'do not treat'; it just means don't get the heart started again if it has stopped. Decisions about how far you go with medical treatment should be taken by doctors, in consultation with the patient and family, depending on circumstances. Ultimately a clinical judgement should be made on whether the patient will benefit or suffer from treatment, and whether the current episode is survivable. That is very different to the specific issue of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

Recently my experience has been that medical staff have a clearer understanding of what DNACPR means (Do Not Attempt Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation). This means if the person's heart stops there should be no jump-starting the heart with paddles, no chest compressions, no rescue breathing. I have therefore signed the form with my mum's GP. The DNACPR instruction, plus an abbreviated form of her medical record, will now go online and be available to the emergency services via their onboard computer system. This is in Scotland - I don't know if it is the same across the UK.

Having consulted my brothers, and my OH who is joint Guardian with me, we came to a unanimous view that my mum, now aged 90, with a weak heart, would not survive CPR or would linger in pain with a poor quality of life for a short while, and then die anyway. The GP agreed that this was his view also.

However, when we were getting ready to sign the DNACPR form, the GP said that we could add further instructions about not giving life-prolonging treatment, as guidance to hospital staff. I felt that this was a step too far. We will make those decisions, if they need to be made, on the facts and circumstances as they appear at the time.

At the moment if my mum needed antibiotics, or steroids, or oxygen, this would be to get her over an illness and back to better health. She isn't in poor spirits and has a good quality of life. It is too soon to say 'do not treat'. Obviously, for other families this is not the case, and they might want to indicate that palliative care only is the kindest course of action.
 
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