by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt
HEALTH CARE: Can Mom Live Forever?
Many of us have had the experience of losing a parent. It is a life passage that is impossible to completely prepare for.
Problem is, mom is not going to live forever, and at some point aggressive care makes no sense – except to some of the children.
This puts the hospital, nursing home, doctors and nurses in tough predicaments. And it puts Medicare in a position to finance the care.
Physicians often take the path of least resistance – do what the family wants. Too often the patient is ping-ponged between the hospital and nursing home. Medicare may eventually slow down the revolving transfers by cutting payments, which leaves the doctors and nurses to face the family.
Withholding care can result in unnecessary suffering. Providing too much care may result in unnecessary suffering.
Talk to your parents if they are older. Try to get some agreement among siblings about possible scenarios. Face reality yourself if you are older. Consider a living will.
And even then you cannot anticipate the exact course of anyone’s life.
Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt