My Aunt is 95, in stable health, with some dementia and memory loss. She requires a companion (private pay) because of advanced macular degeneration and memory problems. She is also in an assisted living facility so she has checks at night and medication management.
She has had her pacemaker ten years and it needs a new battery. The cardiac unit at the hospital called me and asked me to consider not changing the battery.
They told me to talk with her doctor and the other family members to decide.
She is not pacemaker dependent, but I was told her pacemaker helps correct the electrical signal to the heart one or two times per 100 beats. They expect falls and possibly injuries from no pacemaker.
Basically, they provided a life sustaining treatment that they now want me to consider removing it. How does anyone make this decision? I love my Aunt. I enjoy my Aunt. She is loving, caring and cracks jokes constantly. Her caregivers are loyal and loving and go to work to have fun! They laugh all day and love on my aunt as if she were theirs. She visits with other residents where she lives and participates in music and scenic drives. She also has pain from a hip replacement that has gone bad, and is in a wheelchair except in her room. She is frustrated because she can't remember why she can't see. She has expressed not wanting to live, then almost instantly shifts to humor and wants to go do something. She confided to me five years ago that she wasn't sure she made the right decision to get the pacemaker. But she was independent and living at home at the time and I remember she didn't give it a second thought. I am guardian, health care power of atty and durable power of atty. I have been closely involved with her for the last six years taking care of every aspect of her care and financial matters. There is plenty of money, but it's disappearing fast. I feel that my decision will cause her pain either way I go. Prolong a life with immediate, present small joys and pain, or authorize the possibility of injury and death which goes against every fiber of my being. Does anyone have any wisdom, experience or advice? Thank you.