Definition: The client is empowered to waive liability for activities that may harm them or put them at risk. Clients need to understand the risks and benefits of a given activity.
Examples: A diabetic who wants ice cream, solid food for someone who could choke, or allowing someone to walk even if they have a high potential of falling and hurting themselves.
At some point, a safe life can become a sterile life. That point differs for different people. Some decisions around medical care focus on keeping the client healthier longer at the expense of quality of life or making it easier for staff to care for the care recipients. Some choices exaggerate the benefits (like tight diabetes control in a 85 year-old).
The hospice model of care suggests more focus on addressing clients’ goals than simply keeping them safe. Sometimes it is difficult to remind ourselves that we need to see things from the client's perspective. Living on a liquid diet because of choking hazard from solid food may eliminate simple joys from their daily life.
Caregivers and family members need to avoid projecting our own feelings onto our parents.