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Why Aren’t There More Ventilators for the Coronavirus?
From:
Pamela D. Wilson -- Caregiving Expert, Advocate & Speaker Pamela D. Wilson -- Caregiving Expert, Advocate & Speaker
Golden , CO
Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Why Aren't There More Ventilators?
 
Video Clip: Click to Watch

CONTACT: Pamela D. Wilson 303-810-1816

Email:   Inquiry_For_Pamela@pameladwilson.com

Golden, Colorado – March 19, 2020

Golden CO - According to Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, caregivers, and the public are asking, "why aren't there more ventilators?" It is Wilson's opinion that a different question should be asked.

The Question That Should Be Asked

The question that should be asked is, "do you want to be placed on life support?" "What are your wishes for extensive care?"

Surveys confirm that 25% of the U.S. population believes that they should go to the hospital if they have the coronavirus. The recommendation is to stay home unless extensive care as the result of breathing problems is needed.

A Ventilator is Life Support

Most people have no idea what a ventilator is, or what being on a ventilator means. A ventilator breathes for the body when the body cannot breathe on its own.

For the elderly, the statistics of being placed on a ventilator are sobering  Initial and long term survival rates are low. Persons on ventilators can acquire pneumonia, which is an added life-threatening situation. The elderly who are in poor health and who have the coronavirus are more likely to experience the health complication of pneumonia.

Social Distancing is Necessary to Stop the Spread of the Coronavirus

In dire situations like today, talking about life and death decisions is difficult. We are not a society comfortable talking about death or dying. Yet more deaths will be the result if social distancing and quarantines are not taken seriously.

The National Institutes of Health in a press release from March 17, 2020, confirmed that "most secondary cases of virus transmission of SARS-CoV-2 appear to be occurring in community settings rather than healthcare settings."

The Other Question That Should Be Asked

Questions about medical prognosis are often not asked. Physicians don't want to give bad news about what might happen if families do not ask.

The other question to be asked is, "will I be better than I am now if I survive being taken off a ventilator?" This question is similar to asking if one has better health after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR is provided when the heart stops and the body is not breathing.  

For the elderly, in most cases, unless the individual was very healthy before the health emergency, overall health will not be better after coming off a ventilator or after having CPR. In many cases, prior health declines will continue.

Answer The Better Question and Make A Decision

Neither of Wilson's parents who died over 20 years ago, wanted to be placed on life support. Both were taken off temporary life support at the end of their lives because their wishes were specified in a living will.

In her role as a professional fiduciary, Wilson had clients on ventilators and other types of life support.

According to Wilson,

"Being the person who has to make life-ending decisions is a serious responsibility. I know. Making the decision to end life supports makes it feel as if you are the person taking a life—even though the body cannot survive without life support.

My recommendation for everyone, including the elderly, is to put wishes in writing in a living will and in a CPR directive. Create your medical and financial power of attorney documents. Make your preferences clear to adult children before a severe health event happens"

Elderly With Chronic Health Concerns Live in Nursing Homes

Elderly with chronic diseases live in nursing homes. Many become physically weaker and need more care. Caregivers are also asking about taking elderly parents out of nursing homes because of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus did not begin in nursing homes. More than likely, the virus was brought in by a healthy person with no symptoms of the virus.

Caregivers during this time of "lockdown" can pick up the phone and speak to parents. Sneaking around outside nursing homes to look in through windows is unnecessary and may be more upsetting to residents inside the nursing home.  

Subjects Caregivers Avoid

End of life decisions, caregiving decisions, and decisions about nursing home care for elderly adults are in Pamela's Caring for Aging Parents Blog posts. A series of YouTube videos answer daily questions from caregivers about the coronavirus and related subjects.

For more than 20 years, Wilson has owned and operated companies providing in-home care for the elderly and care management.  She was a professional fiduciary in the roles of a court-appointed guardian, medical and financial power of attorney, trustee, and personal representative of the estate. Today Wilson speaks, educates, and develops content and digital programs for consumers and corporations on the subject of health, well-being, and caregiving.

Corporations interested in digital support programs for working caregivers can contact Pamela for more information about workplace caregiver programs. Pamela speaks and provides content for corporations desiring to reach consumers interested in health, well-being, and planning for care. More information is available on Pamela's website.

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Check Out Podcast Replays of The Caring Generation® Radio Program for Caregivers and Aging Adults HERE

The podcast replays are great to share with family, friends, social groups, and the workplace. Listening to the Caring Generation podcasts are a great alternative for weekly book clubs. The Podcast replays are also an educational activity used at senior 

Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA is a national caregiving expert, advocate and speaker.  More than 20 years of experience as a direct service provider in the roles of a court-appointed guardian, power of attorney, and care manager led to programs supporting family caregivers and aging adults who want to be proactive about health, well-being, and caregiving. Wilson provides education and support for consumers and corporations interested in supporting employees who are working caregivers. To carry out her mission, Wilson partners with companies passionate about connecting with the caregiving marketing through digital and content marketing. Her mission to reach caregivers worldwide is accomplished through social media channels of Facebook, YouTube, Linked In, Instagram, Caregiving TV on Roku, and The Caring Generation® radio on Internet radio. She may be reached at 303-810-1816 or through her website.

 

 
Wilson
President/Owner
Pamela D. Wilson, Inc.
Golden, CO
303-810-1816