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The Ombudsman Report - May 2022

Be Careful What You Sign For

by Kathleen Heren, Rhode Island Long Term Care Ombudsman, Guest Blogger

Kathleen Heren

Don Drake, who writes the blog for Connelly law offices, recently published an article on CPR. The title really took me aback and I immediately read it. The title was "CPR is brutal, undignified...and few survive it". When any elder or disabled person is admitted to long-term care, somewhere in the vast pile of admission papers, the person is asked if they have advanced directives. A question that is mandatory to ask. There is no obligation for the person to sign one, although it may prove to be a sad situation if they become gravely ill, and the physician and staff must keep the person a full code.

Some think if they tell a family member or a friend what they wish to happen, should they not be able to speak for themselves, that it is enough. That is not an advanced directive. An advanced directive must be written on paper, signed, and notarized. Some nursing homes will take the word of the appointed party, some will not. Advanced directive forms are available at nursing homes. They can also be downloaded online.