General Health

Do you KNOW what your PARENTS’ WISHES are? (POLST)

By Nicole R February 20 August 15th, 2019 No Comments

Many children, no matter the age, do not know what their parents’ wishes are when confronted with “end of life” issues. Tandem Strength & Balance therapists and other colleagues with whom we have interacted, believe that life saving and other “end of life” wishes, need to be clearly displayed in a client’s home. This applies to all living situations whether it is a private home, apartment, assisted living, etc. As Physical Therapists at Tandem Strength & Balance, we have encountered emergencies during an exercise session which required the initiation of CPR and/or need for emergency personnel information. Clearly displayed wishes are critically helpful in these types of situations.

Families are often unaware of the rules concerning when or when not to initiate CPR. When there is no POLST or it cannot be easily found, CPR must be initiated by the health care provider. As one paramedic has said,

“One of the most excruciating and difficult calls to go on is one where we are not quite certain if the individual would want CPR or not; yet, if there is not a valid DNR/DNI order present, CPR MUST be initiated.”

With 20 years of experience in the Physical Therapy field, it is still difficult to ask for personal information such as this from a client; however, it is surprising how comfortable older adults are in discussing these issues. Please SEE THE LINK BELOW for your copy of the POLST – a very helpful tool for starting the conversation with your loved one.

POLST: It is easily recognizable and standardized. It is vital that this document or another Health Care Directive is SIGNED and ON DISPLAY (usually on the refrigerator). Feel free to use this information when visiting with a Medical Doctor. They can answer your questions and provide the needed signature on the POLST. Please clink this link to directly connect to form: https://bit.ly/2Iu7iLY

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