Should caregivers know CPR?

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Should Caretakers know CPR in case their is an ER situation while taking care of one of our family members? If so, how r we suppose to get trained if we have the person with us 24/7? I know the mnl will not sat too long no more than 5-10mint. before complaining and she don't read and etc and its not because she can't yet, because she could care less to read or even be social to other people. Much less give me enough time to learn and talk to someone else.

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Everyone should know CPR and what to do if someone is choking. It can save lives. But that said, using CPR will depend on the situation. If the person whose heart has stopped is very old, CPR can break ribs and puncture the lungs. The bones of people advanced in years (say, 90 and older) can be quite frail. If circulation fails in these people, there needs to be consideration of their final directives. If a living will or a DNR order are in place, one may opt against doing CPR.

Would I do CPR on a very frail older person who has a living will or DNR order? No. But I would still learn how to do CPR so I might be able to help others.
BTW, I just went through the decision for the hospital staff to do CPR if my father's heart stopped. He was very frail and had a living will. He also had no desire to live in the state of health he was in. I told them no to the attempt to revive. I felt no guilt in the decision, because I knew it was the best one. He died peacefully later that day.
Top Answer
As JessieBelle said, it's good to know CPR, but that doesn't mean you should use it on a very sick elder. If your family member is elderly and not expected to get better, it might be best to have a DNR (Do not Resuscitate) order on hand. Talk to your elder's doctor about this. I have a DNR order for my dad.
lildeb, I know (believe me I know!) that caring for someone 24/7 is very confining and makes it terribly difficult to do things like take a CPR course. You need to work on arranging some respite care -- some way you can get away for periods of time and know that MIL is being well cared for. You need some time for yourself (maybe hubby can to the caring) and you need some time for you and your husband together. To me, this is more essential and a higher priority than learning CPR. So, please try to arrange some time off, but whether you should use some of that to learn CPR is a personal decision and depends on your MIL's wishes (if she did a health care directive before she had dementia, or if you and your husband know her attitudes and beliefs).

My husband who has dementia feels so strongly about DNR that he actually had a defibrillator removed from his chest after he developed dementia. Wow ... that is a stong belief. I would never perform CPR on him nor allow anyone else to, if I could prevent it. (Obviously when he was in good health he felt differently, or he never would have had a defibrillator in the first place.)

Mnl had no health director but she pretty much wants to go when her time comes and she don't won't to be on a breathing machine. I thought it may be a good idea to learn CPR but I had no idea that about an elder being that fragile and she only weight about 78lbs and 5'2" I think and that was with the 4 lbs she gained since at our house. I know they could fall and break a bone easy but had no idea that the CPR could break bones.
Hubby does help out on the weekends. I feel guilty asking him for any help for he teaches all day and I know that has to be a handful and that I should be able to handle his one mom compared to all those teenagers.
We all three went to a Nursing assistant facility and all of us had a conversation at the table and the lady way real nice to the mnl but as soon as we walked to back to check out the place, the mnl was freaking out and saying, I can't stand to be locked up." It's too cold here or the colors on wall were too bright. she just complained and the lady took her son to the side and mention that we may have to take two steps backwards with his mom before we can go forward. Well, lets just say that was the end of that place of getting a break and I was willing to pay $10.00 bucks an hour for a few hours. Hubby did not care for it for the elders just look like they were all sitting around looking miserable. That shot that idea too and She only has Medicare as for insurance. Kind of lost on outside help. Their is an Area on Agency but they want to do some kind of a think assessment? They are the ones that recommeded the assistant places and the one we checked out. Its like if Im not right their in front of her or near eye sight she gets agitated.
Hi Deb: The "think assessment" you metioned is meant to give you and the medical staff an idea of what your MIL understands. It will help explain how far her dementia has progressed. I understand that your MIL is on Medicare, but based on her income, she might qualify for Medicaid which will pick up a lot of the costs. For example, if your MIL qualifies for Medicaid, you could get in-home help with her care at no cost. That would give you a break and let you do things outside the home while a caregiver is with her. They can do bathing, fix lunch, etc. and just help you get a break. Your area on aging should be able to help you with the process of a Medicaid application. I also sent you a post on your Wall with other information. Hope it's helpful. You are a sweet lady and doing a great job.
cattails, thanks but she also has property and a house in her name and i think that will keep her from getting medicade from what other people have told me. My husband and his mom the mnl went to her attorney and up dated her will because of a greedy in-law so now every thing I think is in my husband name then mine and an aunt. Yet, I think the lawyer gave her rights as long as she is living so i didn't fully understand all that. Hubby don't won't to switch everything in his name for the taxes will increase for homestead exemption. Yet, what I understood that for her to qualify for Medicade is that he would need everything in his name for at least 5 years so medicade will not count is as her assests. I am trying to look years a head for I know eventually, she will need to be placed in a nursing home maybe and medicare only pays for short-term from what I am trying reading. He thinks that they -the State cannot take the house and I'm not really sure myself.
The break does sound very nice to go out and do some shopping and see 'real-people' sometimes. I don't know what to do about the property-house stuff and I don't think he is thinking down the road years ahead. I think he thinks that his mom will be hear until she passes away and that will be great. However, their may be a time where I cannot do or lift her for she weigh almost as much as I and if she ever needs medical like I.V. stuff I have no clue. I have taking care of her when she had cervical cancer and had it removed and I had to change her urine bag everyday and drained it a coupld times a day for a whole week and not to mention, clean where the cathered was located. So, I have seen it all down their and I did try to make her feel as comfortable as possible so she wouldn't be embarrassed either. The cervical cancer is all gone and hopefully it will never return. Yet, I know I will not be able to do what a nurse is qualified IF that day comes and he don't see that far, I guess.
In my opinion, if your MIL has assets that keeps her from qualifying for Medicaid, then she should be using some of those assets to help pay her way. If she doesn't qualify for Medicaid to provide some in-home care, arrange for private-pay in-home care and get the respite you need!

I'm sorry, but I don't understand the practice of "protecting" an elder's assets for the future (for someone to inherit) and then not being able to provide professional care in the here-and-now.
Hi Deb: Maybe you husband has things in his name, but gives her a life estate. Which means it's her's until she dies. Can't be sure from what you have stated. You made it pretty clear before that you hubby wasn't too happy about the way things seemed at the nursing home. Maybe he just wants to have him mom at home until she dies.

Here's what I understand about Medicaid. If your mnl's monthly income is below $2,000.00 per month, she would probably qualify for Medicaid. If your mnl went into a NH, her expenses would be covered, but when she passed away Medicaid could come back and claim her home to offset the costs for her care.

If your husband sold her home, the money could be used to help with her care at your home. If she went to a NH, any money she had (from the sale of her property) would be used to cover her NH care and when that was used up, Medicaid would pick up the balance until her death.

Jeannegibbs is saying that your mnl deserves good care and if selling her home gives her the care that she needs, care that possibly you and your husband can't afford while she is living with you, then it is best to sell her assets and make sure she gets what she needs. You can then hire professional help to keep her at home or you can place her in a NH if it gets to the point where she can no longer move and you can't lift her.

Another situation with Medicaid is that they have a 5 year look back period. So if you mnl transfers her home or money to your hubby, Medicaid will pick up of that and they will not provide care for your mnl. You have to understand that the taxpayers cover the cost of Medicaid...Medic Aid.. and that it is meant to help those who have no where to go. Medicaid does not want to take on the costs of an elder who has given their property or money to family. Nor do the taxpayers.

You sound to me like a very lovely person with lots of love and kindness to give. It also sounds like your mnl loves you and feels secure in your care. What are her medical problems. Would you mind telling us about them.

If you want to keep your mnl at home, it is possible that Hospice can come in at the time when she needs more extensive nursing care. Whatever the case, I think you should check with some of the home health agencies and see what they would charge to have someone come in a few days a week, maybe for just 2 hours, and give you a break.

Get back with us and give us more details. Lots of love to you Deb.

Cattails, thank you for helping me understand the Medicaid deal and it makes sense not to mention r economy is already in debt. I think hubby wants to clean her house out or lets just say i will be doing that and get a few things fix like the roof and rent it out and take that money to use on her or you could say for us to have someone come out to our house. Well, we r living in her house and he would really be renting his house. We had swapped houses when her husband passed away back in 95 and we never changed deeds or anything for the houses r just across street diagonally. As for the mnl health. She is healthy as a freaking horse! She has a little osteoporosis and diagnosed with mild AZ back in Sept of 2011 but symptoms were showing about 6monts to year prior to diagnose. For I had to get hubby to notice that she was wearing same ole skirts and shirts for weeks and they look very dirty. It was if he was total blind or he was just in denial that his mom was not the same anymore. Not to mention a man had came right in her house twice and robbed her in broad daylight for she never locks her door. Plus she was keeping stuff in her refrig that needed to be thrown out and tops that belong to anything, peanut butter, milk etc were no where to be found and she would feed her dog constantly for she forget that she had fed her and she would forget to take her own medicine and she started to hide them and lie that she took them. As for anything else wrong with her medically, nothing. Beside the cervical cancer that she had around Sept and that was why we moved her into our well her house. She does get confused and we do not allow her to cook anymore and she has forgotten how to use the microwave but she knows how to help herself to the kitchen for snacks and drinks, water or milk. I leave a container out full of crackers and peanut butter for she loves it too. Her eyesight not as good anymore so I do have to go behind her and clean up and that no big deal and I do have to check and turn off the water for she sometimes leaves it on. I also have a night light down hall so she can see to go to her room. I have caught her one time peeing in the dog bowl and she had to go get the dog bowl for she took it right in front of the bathroom door. She was right their at the bathroom but not in it and I have no idea what woke me up but I'm glad I did for pee was going all over the rug and some in the dog bowl. Poor dogs. ; ) you got have some humor. That is when we put a nice bright hall light so she can see and we leave one light on in bathroom too. the bathroom is about 5 steps from her bedroom so she don't have far to walk.
She is healthy as a horse and yes, she use to take something for anxiety but when I mention it to her primary clinic dr about getting back on them she mention that she never been on such things. I told her in front of her dr. that he can check your medical records right their and sure enough she had and of course, she refused and he said he couldn't make her take them if she didn't want to take them and that ended that conversation. So, I just have to deal with the two split personality that she has sometimes. Lucky me.

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