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Do not resuscutate order with home care in MA

My mother is 83 years old and very ill. She was smart enough to buy home health insurance that allows her to pay for having aides in her house to care for her. I think that she'll be signing up for hospice soon. However, she is extremely worried about emergency medical personnel, ambulance technicians and so forth, coming to her home and trying to resuscitate her if she has some form of heart failure. She's very frail and read an articles about the damage CPR can cause to the elderly. The aides all have copies of the DNR order (properly signed and completed by her doctor) and are aware of her wishes. My mother also has a copy of the do not resuscitate order on her bedside table. Is there anything else that we can do to make sure her wishes are satisfied? I think we have all the bases covered, but my mom continues to worry. Any information you can offer will be helpful as I plan on showing any responses to my mother. Thanks.

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Your mother is a lucky woman, not just because she purchased insurance that allows her to stay in her home during her illness, but because she has people by her side who are so concerned about her wishes. From what you have written, it seems as though you and your mom have the bases covered pretty well covered.  As you know, if anything happens to your mom, and if the EMTs are made aware of her do not resuscitate order when they arrive, all should go as planned.  In fact, if the EMT's do not follow the instructions provided in a properly executed DNR, they can face legal repercussions. 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health suggests that people place copies of their DNR on or near the door leading to their room, on the person's bedside table, and, if the person moves around in or outside of the house, another copy with her at all times. Also, if your mom is well enough to visit you or other friends, you can put copies of the DNR in those houses as well, for easy access in an emergency. I hope that helps.


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