Episode 8 - Dr. Deborah Waldrop: End-of-Life Care for Our Nation's Elderly - In Their Own Words (part 3 of 3)

Monday, December 01, 2008, 1:48:30 PM

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This is the third of three episodes in which Dr. Waldrop discusses her research on end-of-life care decision-making begun in 2007. In this episode, Dr Waldrop gives us a status report on the progress she's made in her research on end of life care decision-making and what she has learned thus far, sharing with us participant experiences in their own words.

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Average Rating: 4stars  the incredible benefits of hospice, Saturday, January 16, 2010

By Anonymous :

Dr. Waldrop discussed her research on end-of-life care through interviewing caregivers and patients. It was interesting to note that 81% of caregivers were women, although she did say that men were involved significantly, but may have not been identified. It was also interesting no note that the end-of-life caregivers she interviewed were all blood relatives. This is not to say that friends and others do not offer support at this time.
Her information was primarily about the benefits and advantages of Hospice. There were many of these, and although they varied among the specifics, a central theme was keeping the individual in his or her own home. It was presented that individuals given the choice of Hospice may have been more receptive to it when told that Hospice would come to them, and not that they would have to go somewhere else. It was also noteworthy that Hospice may become necessary when ‘caregiver system breakdown’ occurred. It is apparent that care-giving for an elderly family member can be all encompassing and at times overwhelming. There may come a moment when the person can no longer be taken care of for a variety of reasons.
It was brought up that Hospice care is usually not a quick event. Care can be extended as individuals maintain life and although Hospice is brought in at the end-of-life it is still a process. Dr. Waldrop identified that Hospice is used many times when a crisis occurs, either because of an inability to care for the patient or a substantial decline. It could be interesting and compassionate to have an extension of Hospice (most likely called something different) expanded to times before end-of-life care is urgently needed and not when a crisis occurs. It is not clear how this could be implemented but the transition and support provided to caregivers might be incredibly helpful.

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