What I want depends on what the treatments and procedures are like and whether they will help me hold on to what is important to me.
Citali had lived with her daughter’s family since her husband died a few years ago. Her daughter has 3 children who attend the local elementary school. Citali has had swelling of her legs for years but last week it got so bad that she could not walk on her own and was admitted to hospital. To figure out the type of care she wanted she went through 3 steps.
First she asked her doctors to explain what was wrong with her. They told her that she has liver disease that makes her legs swell up. In hospital they could treat this problem, but they could not cure it. Her liver disease could cause other problems such as making her confused and causing weakness. She could even die from her disease if it got worse.
Citali thought about what was important to her. She loves living with her daughter and being with her grandchildren. She likes seeing her friends and cooking for her family, although this has been difficult for her lately. She is worried about being a burden to her family if she got sicker and needed more care.
Next, she thought about what was most important to her. She decided that the most important thing was being healthy at home with her daughter’s family. She decided that she would want treatment that could give her more time at home in good health. She would not want treatments to help her live longer if she was too sick to care for herself or if she was suffering or was a burden to her family.
She told her daughter and her care team in hospital what was important to her.