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Well, we (Mom's doctor & myself) have agreed that, not only will she not receive any vaccination, she will not receive any antibiotics nor any other drugs to extend her life should she become ill.
This may make me a monster in some people's eyes and that is fine. But, you don't know my Mom. You don't know what her wishes have always been regarding her health needs and choices. Mom, when she was in the best of health did not "do" vaccinations and there is no way I would go against those wishes just because she is in a group setting or not in a group setting.
You may feel this is placing her at greater risk. Well, in the several years since she had her first stroke, she has been in group settings (retirement living, assisted living, dementia care and, now, skilled nursing care). When those around her, in group settings, became ill with influenza, pneumonia, colds or Norwalk virus, Mom stayed healthy and never suffered so much as a sniffle or upset stomach.
So, at the advanced age of 90 (she's obviously been healthy enough to reach this age!), we will not do anything to extend her life, whatever my befall her. It is simply about comfort measures from now on.
She is permanently wheelchair-bound, totally incontinent and has a 3-minute memory span. Most days, she doesn't remember any of our names (and, sometimes, doesn't even know who we are). She doesn't remember Dad is dead (as are her parents and other people she asks about regularly).
What, exactly, is the longterm quality of life that we would be offering her as regards getting a flu shot, to "possibly" prevent an illness she has not had before? She certainly will not be better for receiving the shot.
Should she get the flu, she will be cared for and kept comfortable and Nature will take its course. THAT is what medical intervention is, when a person is like my Mom. It is about respecting what THEY have always wanted.
Thank goodness our doctor believes the same thing.
P.S. I have a written statement, signed by the nursing home director and charge nurse, as well as Mom's doctor, promising that Mom will not receive ANY immunizations or any other medical treatment without my written consent.
P.P.S. The person that admitted Mom to the nursing center is not a doctor, she is a social worker.
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