There is a new way of elder care that's increasingly popular with both patients and their families and it's known as Slow Medicine.
I'm sure people working in nursing facilities and assisted living can attest to the amount of ambulances coming in and out on a daily basis, sometimes to take a person in for nothing more than a heavy cold. Why? Because 911 is the only option for many elderly people in facilities or in their homes. There doesn't seem to be a happy medium.
Slow medicine is increasingly becoming a choice for many in their 80s and 90s. Rather that going through heart surgery or other invasive and potentially life-ending procedures at an advanced age, they opt for comfort instead.
By comfort, I don't mean a hospice type setting. Rather, they continue to take medication and otherwise take good care of themselves and see medical professionals, but see little point in major surgeries towards the end of their lives that may cause more harm than good and can completely deplete their savings.
They may have a DNR directive (Do Not Resuscitate) and elect to refuse tube feeds or other life sustaining procedures.
I think I am kind of liking this idea!
In an era where "anti-aging" is a common expression and we all want to "turn back the clock" - the simple fact is that we are all going to get old and die.
I have relatives who survived cancer in their 50 and 60s and are now in their 80s and 90s. They refuse all cancer checkups because they feel great, and have no intention of starting major cancer treatments if they return. Not in their 80s. They want their last years to be about comfort, not sustaining a life that is turning the corner and nearing the end.
This shouldn't sound depressing, even though it probably does! Aging is unfortunate, I agree. At least the creaky, saggy parts! But we better accept it!
And if we want to age with comfort by the time we get to our 80s and 90s, then I say go for it. We have the right to be 100 and refuse open heart surgery!
Tell Us -
What do you think of the notion of Slow Medicine?
If you reach your 80s or 90s, will you want every option for survival or will you bow out with comfort? Can you see yourself getting aggressive cancer therapies or risky surgeries into your 90s?
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