A hospice social worker in Texas.

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A hospice social worker in Texas.

A hospice social worker in Texas.

This week’s course materials (Module 6) focus on end-of-life decisions as well as facing death and living with life-threatening illness.

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You are a hospice social worker in Texas who has been working with a family for several months that includes a married couple in their 50s, their 25-year-old daughter, and her 6-year-old son. The husband’s 85-year-old father has been living with them for the past year. His wife died 7 years ago, and he had been living alone in a small town in another state. He has outlived the majority of his friends and neighbors. The family home was sold, and he moved in with his son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and great grandson on the advice of his physician since he had been struggling with depression and loneliness. He has heart disease and a pacemaker. He has been steadily declining, losing weight, not eating, not exercising, and does not want to have the battery in his pacemaker replaced. He has a DNR and is prepared for the end of his life. The couple is frightened, worried, and exhausted from caretaking.

You are meeting with the family to discuss the decision to not replace the pacemaker battery as well as what to expect moving forward. Discuss how you would approach this meeting, the focus of the discussion, and how you would communicate.

Reflect on this scenario and describe your personal thoughts and reactions.

Requirements: 1-2 pages

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

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The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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