Here are quotes from two excellent essays about being an empowered caregiver.
First, from Muriel Gillick, MD:
In those care planning meetings in the nursing home, if they ask nothing else, family members should ask “what drugs is mom on?” And that should be followed by “why is she on them?” and “are they helping?” And if there is no good reason for giving the medication, ask that it be stopped, especially neuroleptics. It will save mom a lot of misery—and save money for all of us.
Read the full post: Getting Off Drugs.
Second, from Anna Quindlen, who recently spoke about caring for her father at the end of his life:
When I raised ethical questions about changing the scope of my father’s treatment because of the low likelihood of recovery, they acted as though those questions were appropriate and sensible. They made me feel like a good daughter, not the opposite, for asking them.
Read her full speech at HumanizingMedicine.org (click fast — her essay will disappear on Dec. 3, 2013, at her request):