With 9,000 COVID deaths, many of us have lost loved ones recently. Suzanne talks with Cassidy Bastien, an end-of-life doula, about a difficult topic to talk about, the end of life. Our medical communities often forgets to educate families on the goals of treatment when our senior loved one’s health is declining, or has gotten a terminal diagnosis. The goal is no longer to make them better, but to make them comfortable. This segment is about palliative care, which isn’t discussed very often. We are so goal-oriented on fixing things, and we end up needing to focus on our quality of life. Palliative care allows for medications and treatment overseen by a palliative care team that works with your primary care physician and experts, and monitors your comfort and how you’re doing with your treatments. Visit her Caregivers Hub Support Group at Facebook.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Worried about the cost of senior living. Care Partner Senior Livings pricing helps preserve your wealth. If you do exhaust your resources, we accept Medicaid and you won’t have to move. Care Partner senior living has fifteen vibrant communities in western Washington and spokane offering high quality, yet affordable independent assisted living and memory care options. Stretch your assets, preserve your estate and never worry about moving. That’s peace of mind and a care partners living different visit care partners Livingcom the following podcast is provided by an approved senior care provider on the answers for elders radio network. And Welcome back everyone to answers for elder’s radio and we are here again with Cassidy Bastin, who is what’s called an end of life du Lah and we’re going to talk about what that is in this hour because that’s a new term that maybe many of is you may have not known. And I have been chasing cassidy down for a long time to get her on the show because I think this is a really important conversation and I want to take this next segment and cassidy, you’ve been so great to just honor me with all of my wish list things of what I want to talk about this hour. So, but when I was taking care of my mother, all of a sudden I used to see she had all of these pills on the counter. I mean she probably had was taking twenty different medications for different things, and it used to just bug me like crazy, like, mom, you need to get off of this, you need to do you know, and and because nobody took the time to explain to me that the goal was not to get mom better. The goal was to make my mother comfortable and there was no expectation that my mom was going to get better. She was in her S, she was declining and I think one of the things that that our medical community forgets to do is educate families on what are the goals of treatment, I mean. And so, Cassidy, I want to take the time, thank you very much, to talk a little bit about a term that you that are listeners may not have heard before, and that is called Palliative care. Palliative care, and I think that’s something that, you know, we in the medical community do know about, but it’s not discussed very often, is it? No, no, it’s not, and I think that working in hospice and and we’re going to touch on palliative care, because palliative care and hospice, they we work together, but we are very different things and a lot of the and I say mainstream healthcare because I’ve been in a hospice world and it operates different than traditional healthcare, that we are so focused and goal oriented on fixing things. Yeah, we want to make things better, there’s a medication for that, there’s a cream for that, there’s a powder exect, so you know, and then that’s what happens, is we end up at this point where we really need to focus on our quality of life and not our quantity of life. But the difference between hospice and Palliative care is that palliative care allows you, the minute you’ve been given a terminal diagnosis, to have your medications in your comfort and your treatments overseen by a Pallid of CARE team, which includes nurses and doctors that work in conjunction with your primary care providers. You’re on collagist right ever treatment plan you have, and it’s basically monitoring your comfort and how you’re doing with these treatments, allowing you to still fight if that’s what you want to do. Yes, which which is great, right, because it allows people that hope that we can focus on our comfort, in our quality of life, but we can still focus on fighting whatever battle. Physical therapy, absolutely, occupational therapy, yeah, maybe to reabilitate mobility, maybe after a heart attack or something like that. Right, right, maybe the heart is compromised, maybe a congestive heart failure or something like that. But remember this. It’s like there’s other things that you can work on. That’s part of the process that we go through. Absolutely. The main difference, also is, and a lot of this is what I’m seeing often times, two is that we have people who have great care needs and they’re declining significantly and maybe their mindset is not in a hostice mindset, right, but they pallied of care does not offer like a certified nurses ai to come out and provide something. It doesn’t provide for medical equipment or or medications, doesn’t provide for family counseling, where really hospice will work with the entire family exactly. So that’s kind of the main difference between comes and Pallid of care. As hospice, we are no longer pursuing life saving treatments and we are focusing on quality of life and comfort and end of life, where as Palliat of care kind of gives you that Lee way to continue your your your treatments and and your fight. I say fight because I really do feel like a lot of times people who are on Palliative care when they really should be on hospice, it is because they have that overwhelming need to fight. And I do believe. I do believe people choose when they die. Oh I do, and and that’s the thing that I think is the other thing. Now here’s another question to you. Yeah, we’ve talked on the show before and for those of our listeners that haven’t heard it, there’s a form called a post form. That’s physitions order of life sustaining treatment. It is a bright neon green form and that comes out during the time of Palliative care. Is that correct? And you know it is, absolutely but I encourage every single person to think about what they want for life sustaining treatment as you’re able, and so you can absolutely go to your doctor at any time you have a physical and say I would like to fill out a post with you. But why do we explain to our listeners what is a post war right? So a pulse is a physician’s order to sustain life. These encompass things like CPR and ventilators to feedings, things like and it’s for in the home, basically for emergency. It goes on usually on the REFRIGERAT refrigerator, right, because emergency services are trained to go straight to that refrigerator and look for them, because that green paper is really the green light that gives them the information that they need to care for you the way that you want to be cared for. So if you haven’t taken the time to do that, you really should, and make sure that you know, your families have a copy, that your your people have a copy of that, that everybody knows. And that’s what end of life do, is do yeah lot. And here’s the example to our listeners. Just on a post form, and I’m going to spend a little bit of time on this, because a post form basically empties are trained to use every single resource to sustain life. If you’re laying motionless on the floor and unconscious and and you start to flatline, they will do everything they can, including break ribs, to get you to resuscitate if you do not want that, if you want to be able to go peacefully. This is why the pulse form exists. It will basically lay out what your wishes are and certainly if you’re in a situation where you have compromised health, this is something to look at and it’s a bright neon green form and I will tell you your doctor can explain to you all different types of things, but I always talk to families about that. Do you have that in place? Up something that there’s a lot of people. They’re not notified about that form, and that’s you know, and I want to say you know, every single patient on hospice that comes on has to have a polse form, right like and but I’m thirty six years old and I marched into my primary care physician last year and said I have filed up my post and I would love you to sign it and if you’re going to be my primary care provider, you need to know what my wishes are and and that is absolutely something that I would be more than happy to help anybody still out. You know right, you can, because it is then there’s different questions that you’ll be put through because it maybe resuscitate only if you know XYZ happens. There’s different types of situations. So it’s one of the things I think that, you know, we all should at one point in our lives if we feel strongly about an issue. We need to look at that form and your physician should have that on on file in their office and it takes fifteen minutes for you to sit down and do that, and so I strongly encourage people to do that. Your Pallid care and now I didn’t actually do that until I personally got covid, and it was covid that made me really look at this and go, oh my goodness. First of all, if I’m asking other people to be prepared, that I need to be prepared. Yes, what do I want? And My pulsed states. You know, I’m willing to do a tube feed and be on a ventilator for six months, but if no quality of life can be sustained after that, please let me go on hospice, matter what age. I am right. We can reevaluate these things and you can change a post at any time. It’s it can be updated and it should be updated at least every five years, because with every year. So I agree. I you, guys, yes, people, and also, and also just you. If you don’t remember the name pulsed, just ask your doctor for the neon green form, right, and usually they know exactly what you’re talking about. And so that’s something that’s really, really important. Okay, so, Cassidy, now, obviously you know we as as people are dealing with pelliged care. They come to a point where now we realize that it’s starting to shift. Maybe you need more services. So how do you have that immediate conversation with a doctor or how do you recognize when it’s time to go to the next step? Well, you know, I always think that having end of life conversations with your primary care provider, even when you’re well, is important because we would hope that all doctors are trained in experienced at knowing when it’s time to focus on end of life right all the of life. But not every doctor has that mindset or that here. So I think that asking questions and getting those those things done early is imperative. But I also you know, so I actually got to speak to the University of Washington point of care students want to say in two thousand and nineteen, and that was kind of what their question was. What was your Pearl for the Pallid of Care Students? And my Pearl was my and it was more a plea. They are the gatekeepers to hospice. So they have to know when it is time and we have to be having real conversations as pillid of care doctors, kind of care clinicians, about when it is time to focus on quality of life and sadulous treatments. It really starts there, on top of what we can do in the perfect for that perfect so we’re going to talk about hospice and transitioning into that in our next segment. So in the meantime, Cassidy, how do we reach you? You can find me at my end of Life Northwestcom. You can find me on facebook at my end of life northwest on facebook, and you can there my email. My contact information is all on those websites and on facebook. So I encourage you to check out our facebook page, caregivers hub. And what’s your other fit and when is so I we actually did start my end of life northwest, death and dying before group perfect pet. Yeah, perfect. So everyone. Cassidy will be right back right after this. We at answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you can discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guys. That will help you also navigate decision making. Find us at answers for elders. Doctor. Are you overwhelmed looking for a senior living solution for yourself or a loved one? We at care partner senior living pride ourselves in helping seniors or their loved ones navigate the often new and confusing process of finding the right senior living option. Hi, I’m Colette With Care Partners. Care Partner senior living has fifteen vibrant communities throughout western Washington and Spokane, providing independent, assisted living and memory care at extremely affordable pricing. And if you ever run out of funds and need to convert to Medicaid, you will never be asked to move. Being locally owned and close to our communities means care partners can provide you the personal assistance and education to find the right senior care solution, one that allows you to stretch your assets, preserve your estate and stay active and safe, all well giving you the peace of mind that you never have to worry about moving. That’s the care partners experience. Visit Care Partners Livingcom
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
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