As we were growing up, our parents taught us to live by the “Golden Rule,” meaning, do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Remember? Question, how reliable is that idea? Think about it, our outlooks and experiences may deviate from our residents’, right? Maybe we have a charmed life with no obstacles, enjoy good health, and have countless friends, whereas the resident may have had chronic illness, no support system, and lost the only family member they had to cancer 2 years ago. Would what we want be the same as what they would want? Likely not!
In an interesting article written in JAMA, a physician discussed the Platinum Rule, so I did a little research (no, I am not changing careers to become a researcher). Published on Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers, was a “new standard for Person-Centered Care,” known as the Platinum Rule, “do unto patients as they would want done unto themselves.” Hmmmm…..I personally never thought of that, did you? Asking the questions, talking about the residents’ values, preferences, and goals. Maybe their spirituality has more impact on their life than talking about palliative care.
We are all very busy, we have certain protocols and beliefs we follow daily. Who has time to sit and discuss a resident’s values, preferences, and goals? You! Me! Each one of us, there should be no question that maybe, just maybe the Platinum Rule is the way to go. Talk to your residents and families, discuss options and the Platinum Rule. You may just make someone’s final days more meaningful, comfortable, and how THEY would want to leave this earth. Stay well and stay informed!