When considering putting a Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR) in place, 24 hr home care providers suggest that you and your parent understand what a DNR means. The DNR is a legal document written in tandem with the doctor’s order in the event that your parent were to stop breathing or go into cardiac arrest. A DNR indicates that no intervention procedures will be taken to save their life. Lifesaving methods include intubation, placing a breathing tube in their airway or using cardiopulmonary shock to revive their heart. However, before your parent signs this order it is important they are of sound mind and aware of their choices.
24 hr home care experts spend many hours talking to seniors and are very aware of their desires and wishes on how they want to live out their days. No one wants to live in pain or to be a burden on friends and family. Yet, rarely is someone ready to die, and your parent may be no different. They too want to live each day as long as they are able. The DNR will not go into effect unless your loved one’s heart stops beating or they stop breathing. They will continue receiving their medications and all medical attention until that time. A DNR does not stop medical attention.
24 hr home care specialists recommend that a DNR should also accompany an Advance Directive. An Advance Directive allows a person to select someone to act on their behalf on all medical decisions if they are unable to do so themselves. This is a discussion that should be had early on, and it is different from a Power of Attorney.
If your parent has a Living Will that too is a separate document as well. Each document can name a different individual for these varying responsibilities. Your parent may identify one child in the Advance Directive and another as the holder of their Living Will and yet another child or family member as having Power of Attorney over their finances. However, nothing changes their DNR.