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Geriatrics and Extended Care


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Elder Vet and Son Use Helpful Shared Decision Making Aids

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Mr. Peterson

These stories are fictional, but are based on real Veterans' experiences.

Mr. Peterson is a 67 year old Vietnam Veteran who served in the Army and recently had a stroke.

  • He has some leg weakness and is currently in a rehabilitation facility.
  • It was his first stroke, so he was put on blood thinning medicine.
  • Although he will be discharged soon, it is not clear to what extent his leg will regain its strength.
  • He is eager to return home where he lives alone.
  • He is concerned he won't be able to manage everything by himself.

Mr. Peterson's support system:

  • He rarely sees his neighbors socially.
  • He is used to being independent and has not relied on help from others before.
  • His son lives 2 hours away and usually visits 3 times a month.
  • His son is concerned about his father's ability to live alone.

VA helped Mr. Peterson get the support he needed to be as independent as possible. His social worker suggested he look at the online Guide to Long Term care and gave him a copy of the Shared Decision Making Worksheet SDM icon and suggested that he and his son complete it as a first step to making decisions about long term care.