Emily aged 85 went into the hospital. Her home is a nursing care home. She cannot support her own weight and needs a hoist and wheelchair to get her to the toilet and dining room. She is able to sit in an armchair and watches television. She has several diseases necessitating a good deal of staff time and medication.
These are Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her mood is okay and she is able to converse in a limited way with staff and her visitors.
You can also opt for pallative care at home for your parents.
However, the quality of life changes when she gets a chest or urinary tract infection to which she is vulnerable. At these times she has breathing problems and becomes uncommunicative. These problems have resulted in several hospital admissions in recent months.
Only in the hospital can adequate treatment be provided eg monitoring machines, scans, medical expertise on hand, adequate amounts of needed oxygen, and so on. When in hospital at first she becomes agitated and more confused and then later fed up not being in her own room at the care home where she sees familiar faces.
The question arises: how many times should a very ill and infirm person near the end of life be given repeated inpatient episodes of hospital treatment.