Statement by the Office of George H. W. Bush on the health of former First Lady Barbara Bush. pic.twitter.com/4csUS6IRKZ
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 15, 2018
The former first lady is choosing hospice care at the end of her life. She has multiple chronic conditions and after her last hospitalization, she evidently said enough. She made the affirmative choice to forego future curative care and is now receiving hospice care which is comfort and symptom alleviation care.
Hospice care is increasingly common for individuals on Medicare. End of life is the single universal public health experience as no one will ever be immortal. So people need to be prepared.
That means thinking through what you want in a given scenario. Do you want everything that can be done? Do you accept that “success” might mean never being able to walk again? Do you want care up to a certain point and then comfort? Are these decisions different for different scenarios?
This means talking through your mortality with the people that are important to you as well as those who are in the position to make decisions for you if you are unable to communicate your wishes. This means your spouse, kids, attorney, power of attorney holders, clergy, primary care and frequently seen specialty doctors and anyone else that you think will be relevant.
And as life continues to happen, think about what you want and as your opinions change, update your wishes.