Another sad news headline: 84 year old woman charged with attempted murder.

Started by

"Police in London, Ont., allege the woman gave her 83-year-old husband medication on Sunday, and then took the medication herself in an attempted murder-suicide.
Both the woman and her husband became ill as a result of the drugs, and were transported to hospital. Her husband has since been released."

I don't know how this woman reached this point, but I do know that we don't do enough to support people better at the end of life. This is just so sad.
Investigators say the woman's husband has dementia and lives in a long-term care facility, but the incident took place at the woman's home.
They say two animals also were given the medication, and neither was harmed.


I really understand what she did. We had a murder-suicide at a TX hospital. I think the wife had cancer and the husband shot her, then shot himself. They were in their 80s. I guess they wanted to leave this world together and did not want to suffer. I understood and neither condemn nor condone.
I think the most unfortunate part of all this is that the poor woman failed and now she and her husband are worse off than before. Mom and I were listening to the news together and my mom agreed with me.
Of course I am just imagining that she acted out of love and despair for her husband's condition and herself without him, police say they aren't releasing details to protect her husband.
It is so sad whenever one reads about an elder murder-suicide. I think most of us after reading so many different issues regarding full-time caregiving, we can understand why it might happen.

If course the newspaper articles don't give the back story. Maybe the couple refused any type of outside help and things just got to overwhelming. I know for some elder women their "job" was to be the housewife and keep her husband happy and healthy.... and when the husband becomes quite ill, the wife blames herself for her husband's condition.

I saw that with my Mom back when Dad had a heart attack, you could not convince her this had happened, she would deny it big time. She wanted me not to tell the relatives or the neighbors [heavens, I don't even know her neighbors] because they would think she wasn't a good wife. That sounded so strange to me.

And on the other side of the coin, if the wife becomes seriously ill, the husband has no idea on how to do any type of caregiving or even cooking or cleaning because that was always his wife's duty.
Yesss....tremendously sad and, ironically, the more so in its failure....poor, dear elderly desperate she must have felt.....and, now, how must she feel....heart-breaking! personal experience w/elderly parents/people has been that they are very matter-of-fact about life and death. Perhaps this is off-topic (in which case, I apologise) but my 94 YO Mom has for at least 15 years (way before her MCI and now moderate dementia diagnosis) just seemed to accept horrendous diagnoses, lingering diseases, sudden death....and talked about it openly w/out hesitation....used to kind of creep me out initially (and I am no stranger to death having been widowed suddenly in my 20's and lost many good friends since then)....I know in Mom's case, her very best friend's husband had AD for years.....HA (Mom's BFF) spent every day, all day, even when he had to be put in NH, at his side, until he passed. Both of them, to this day, speak very matter-of-factly about this....both of them carried on their very busy, active lives w/out a hitch when their spouses had passed. Don't know....are they the exception? Is it generational?.....
Black Dog my Mom was very similar to yours. When she was 79 she had scheduled open heart surgery for clogged arteries. She wasn't even going to tell us. I found out accidentally when I saw it written on her calendar.

She was that way with most things. She lived to be 92 but hardly ever complained even when I know she was suffering. I now feel guilty if I ever start to whine about anything cause of the example set by my Mom.
Oh, heart it's just getting a mole removed as an outpatient!....another little inconvenience to be dealt with...BUT....holy cow, open heart surgery....oh, Mom did this in her mid-80's w/her 2 voluntary knee replacements. She defied her Dr. who said give the first 6 months for healing and recovery...she gave it 4 months....said, "I'm not getting younger....feel great....PT was great....first one is great....let's do the second RIGHT NOW".....I still remember trying to convince her to listen to her Dr. and wait.....NO WAY.....jeez....what tough, magnificent women....amazing (and a little scary).....truth be told!
Yes, BlackDog. To be honest I was soo mad with my Mom at the time. I thought what if she hadn't survived the surgery. No one would of been able to say good bye. But she was like that throughout her life. She survived cancer as well. A real tough old girl to be sure.
Oh Gershun....don't mean to hijack this thread BUT my Mom was a 2x breast cancer survivor, too. Remember first time she was only 68....asked me to come down...of course I did....only to discover she didn't want me there for her.....NO....she wanted me there to take care of Dad (totally healthy and independent at the time) while she was in hospital! This was a man to whom kitchen was a foreign continent so far away from his reality that I swear, he couldn't have found a knife and fork if his life depended on it! Still....that was a situation my parents created (and Mom obviously colluded in) so....I participated fully.....discovered my Dad, who wasn't even 70 at the time, was totally LOST w/out my about childhood illusions/delusions shattered.....Mom recovered like the trooper she has always 84....yes, 84!.....she's told the breast cancer has returned.....I've never been so P'O'd in my life.....after 16 years! Well....she came thru that, too....again, the uncomplaining, yes, I hear you....unbelievably tough very sorry that you have now lost your Mom....very generous of you to continue to post. Thank you for your continuing generosity of spirit.....and such good stories of your wonderful Mother!
Thank-you Black!
As they say here in my Bronx neighborhood, I feel her. While in the Marine Corps I asked my wife if she'd slip me some hemlock should I become a hopeless veggie. Her response? "I'd do it in a heartbeat. But why hemlock with all these guns around the house?"

I'm sorry people if some of you are offended by my comments, but I'm not making light of something so understandably sad. If I were a juror in her case, I'd acquit on the grounds her actions were out of love. Watching a loved one succumb to mental illness and unravel physically a day at a time is something I hope I never have to go through. She wanted to spare her husband that misery. The cats were probably too old to adopt, and she didn't want them to suffer either. If there's anything she's guilty of is trying to be humane.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support