“Caregiver’s Path-Compassionate Decision Making” by Viki Kind, MA (Book Review by Beth Boynton)

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Viki Kind’s book, “Caregiver’s Path-Compassionate Decision Making-Making Choices for Those Who Can’t” is an excellent resource for anyone in a position of supporting loved ones in difficult medical and life situations. Decision-making that becomes complicated in part because our healthcare system is complicated, yet also because the decisions themselves involve personal life-changing questions as well as a variety of limitations that our loved ones may have including injury, illness and/or natural aging.

You will find support answering tough questions such as:

  • Should I take the car keys away from my father?
  • What if the doctor is recommending a treatment that I don’t think my mother would want?
  • How much decision-making control is right for my sister who has a brain injury?
  • Is it time to get my wife on Hospice?

The author uses case stories from her personal and professional life, (as a bioethicist) to teach a core ‘decision-making framework’ and three tools that readers can apply in their own situation:

  • Shared Decision Making Model
  • Sliding Scale for Decision Making
  • The Assent Tool

This combination of story-telling and teaching results in an engaging and in-depth resource for family/friends, patient advocates, and healthcare professionals.  In addition she offers great examples of communicating difficult questions and the importance of listening effectively which I believe are extremely important to making the processes work.  Not easy, but so helpful!  You’ll also get a chance to test your learnings with several case study challenges.

You’ll find all sorts of great resources and can learn more about Viki’s work at her website.

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