I have a very strong opinion about what I would want if I needed a Ventilator; with only a 20% chance of getting off a ventilator and surviving, I would only want that if I could survive, and if in 14 days I was not better I would want it removed. This may not be what you want, but you need to let your family know your wishes. I hope that by staying home, washing hands, and wearing masks, we all stay healthy, but with 30 cases already reported in Madera (April 6, 2020), some of us may get sick. There is much talk about ventilators, what would you want? It is important that you make those wishes known to your loved ones.
A ventilator is a form of life support, with COVID-19, ventilators are being used with about a 20% success rate. Your family may have to make a decision regarding whether or not you not to have you put on a ventilator. Deciding on whether to start or stop life sustaining measures like ventilators, nutrition and hydration – such as feeding tubes, and IV fluids are especially troubling decisions for families to make. Families often disagree about what to do. This is why it is so important to make your wishes known. You may be like most of my elderly clients; you were adamant that you would want to “pull the plug”, yet your family will struggle with saying no. A few of my clients want everything done and their family needs to know that as well as either way the decision is difficult.
You need an Advance Health Care Directive. You need to name someone to make your health care decisions if you are unable. if you don’t have an Advance Health Care Directive and end up in a hospital the health care workers can’t disclose your private health information to your loved one when they call. An Advance Health Care Directive is the most important legal document in the event of a medical crisis. It is so important that I am giving it away! Just go to www.ElderLawMom.com/health-care-directive, look for my articles and you will find this exact article. You will see a place to request the document. If you need help just give me a call at (559)473-1233 and I will gladly help you at no charge. What if you don’t know what you would want? You will still need to name agents and if you need help understanding the options attorneys Certified as Elder Law Attorneys by the National Elder Law Foundation have proven expertise in guiding clients through the end of life options.
I have been the decision maker for my mother, I truly understand the pain of making these decisions, as I have guided hundreds of families through the decision-making process. It was only me and my mom at the end of her life, we had discussed her wishes, and I knew what she wanted. So when she fell ill at 91 and wanted to die peacefully, having in writing what she wanted gave me the peace I needed as I made the decisions. Please put your wishes in writing and give your family the peace they need.
Martha Patterson is a California Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, and Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. She focuses on Elder Law, Asset Protection and Estate Planning. She is a Member of NAELA; Past President of Southern California NAELA. Featured on CNN, Good Morning America, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, and radio stations KABC, KNX, and KKLA. She overcame incredible objections and enabled Kerri and Julie Kasem to visit their dad radio host Casey Kasem. She is a frequent lecturer for NBI, and is a at MCLE events, and public forums.