Many area seniors say they would not want to be saved if their heart stopped. the issue has become a national conversation after a nurse in California refused to save a dying woman's life. The California nurse said it was company policy not to perform CPR and in Colorado assisted living homes get to make that choice as well. Assisted living homes leave it up to the seniors to decide themselves.
Carmine Tosto has lived at the Grand Villa Assisted Living Home in Grand Junction for the last few years. Tosto said, "The problem is that they never put you back to what you were. So you just become a burden to your loved ones."
He is 86 years old and said, when it's his time, he's ready to go, "Just give me a shot that’s fine to kill the pain, but don't make it for me to live longer because I don't want to do that."
Kathryn Heald is another Grand Villa home that does not want to be revived, "When you get to the age I am right now... when you are 88. You know that if something were to happen, the chances are that you’re not going to be any better if they resuscitate you. And consequently I would say that if that's it and it’s the lord's will. I am ready."
Rebecca Gray works at the home, "If they don't wish to receive CPR, it is a conversation they have with their family and health care provider."
Gray said a resident has to fill out paperwork before they are admitted to the home stating their choice. Which at the Grand Villa, 85% of the residents decline.
Workers said after a certain age, sometimes CPR won't help. It could even complicate things.
Grand Villa also allows residents to change their mind if they decide in an emergency they want help.
Gray said, "Staff provide CPR and first aid in any situation that would require it."
It also removes the liability from the staff and the home by allowing residents like Tosto to be in control, "If I needed it would, but I don't want to suffer. If there any need to make my death go on with no pain, it is fine."
Grand Villa has only had one death involving a resident who received CPR in the past four years.
Typically workers said, it's not a situation that comes up often.