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My grandfather died at 77, in 1965. Amen.

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Yes. When they cannot prolong quality of life that is acceptable to the patient and those who care for them. There is a cruelty to keeping alive someone who wishes they weren't.
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I don't think it's specialists or modern medicine because they are doing what they are supposed to do - treat illness. I do wish however they could cure some stuff. I think there is a huge gaping hole in three areas: 1) when elderly lack awareness to make proper arrangements while still competent to do so, 2) due to lack of planning the responsibility, burden, expectations and blame falls on their adult kid, 3) if parents had made plans and are in the care of an ALF or home caregiver, the industry lacks consistent oversight and adult children feel drawn to fill the gap. There's also another variable which is the parent's emotional disposition and it seems many elderly lash out at their kids, make them responsible for their emotional status, expect kids to be around every day and at their beck and call of which is a terrible thing to do to your kid.
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Wow. My pet peeve. Absolutely. The ages people are living to is ridiculous and unsustainable. The economy and the health care system is collapsing. In Australia it sending us broke. The middle and end of the baby boomers is lifting this load and paying the price both literally and physically
at the time where a life of hard work and saving is coming to an end we now find ourselves looking after our parents who are in their 80’s and 90’s and some beyond that and killing ourselves and “our time” is gone. It is not meant to be this way
my opinion is if you have good health, are relatively fit and most importantly the money then that’s great. If not ist slow, cruel and horrific
i too believe that our body is just a machine that knows when it’s time to shut down and if we as a society keep getting in the way then the body will shut the brain down and still they are kept going. I believe in assisted dying because I do not want to live out my years to the bitter end in a bed as happened to my mother. Truly awful
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If you think about it medical scientists are paid to research and develop new and better procedures and medicines designed to improve and prolong life. If we all decide to not proceed with measures that will prolong our life there would be a lot of people out of a job.

It's like it's supposed to be our goal from birth onward to do things to enhance and better our existance.

Let's say me for instance just decided one day to stop eating properly, quit exercising, drink alcohol, etc, etc. All that would mean is a better chance of having a stroke, heart attack, cancer, you name it. Then, cause euthanasia and assisted suicide is not legal, what am I left with? I'll tell you what. A long stint in a hospital, then rehab, then a care home cause a D N R won't be acceptable till I am at death's door.

So I think I might as well keep living clean cause I'd rather live out my elderly years somewhat healthy so I can at least try to enjoy my final years cause they'll keep on coming up with new things to keep me alive whether I want it or not.
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I do agree that modern medicine/treatments are keeping people alive too long. I wouldn't place all the blame at the feet of the doctors, however, because it's the patients that seek out the doctors and accept the treatments.
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I have a relative who is in her 60s with mental retardation. Her mind is that of a 10 year old. Was an only child and her parents figured she wouldn’t outlive them, so made no real arrangements for her care— mother died first and by then her father was so old that they just lived day to day. She lived with different relatives and was eventually too much to handle. She is now in a group home. She’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia and dementia. It’s been trial and error with her meds... for awhile she was constantly crying. She was convinced she knew the people who lived across the street and kept walking over to “visit”.
Then she was agitated and up all night. She’s leveled out for now, but for how long? She has basic needs met but other than that, nothing. It’s sad.
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My SIL is a Dr and most of his patients are elderly 70+---he's not a geriatric specialist, but you'd think he was!

Drs. take an oath to do all they can to relieve suffering and give their patients the best care they can. The drug companies have made enormous strides in creating medicine that can greatly prolong someone's life. This is a double edged sword: Dr Joe sees it "helping" a great deal, but then he also sees some pretty gruesome and awful side effects. Most people are horrified of death---and so they will do nearly anything to keep it at bay.

His job is to give his patients their options with all possibilities and let them make the choices on what to do.

I can guarantee you HE is not making "bank" on these drugs. Many are amazing and true gifts. Many simply keep someone alive, and at great cost to their overall well being. It's their choice.

Thinking to day of my sweet granddad of whom mother STILL says "Oh, if only they could have treated HBP back then, we'd still have him" Well, he'd be 117 today and I doubt very happy about that...but I get her point. Something so simple to treat these days was a virtual death sentence then. He died at 64.


My own hubby had HepC. Harvoni cured him. But not before he'd developed primary liver cancer at age 54 and had to have a liver transplant--then 84 weeks of the most brutal chemotherapy. He "survived" but certainly paid a cost. Severe depression has now been his constant companion.
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My mother was narcissistic. She lived a long life but naturally, not by intervention. What can I say? At 81, I am finally free
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Many loving, well articulated comments here. However, the comment was not general. It only applies to “2” groups, which not everyone will understand.
Group #1: Children of narcissistic parents.
Group #2: Siblings who gladly give the ageing parent to the “Scapegoat “.
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Yup. Their job is to prolong life. And get paid of course ;)
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There are worse things than death.
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I think that if the person is alert and wanting to be vital, then the science is good to assist them be as happy and healthy as possible. I don't understand keeping a person alive, for the sake of keeping them alive, even if they are terminally ill and are suffering. But, everyone has the opportunity to make their wishes known about that and have an Advance Medical Directive that says what they do and don't want. I think that if science was really serious about helping us, they would have a better answer for diabetes by now.
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At times, I think they do, much more than before as the technology etc is better now. But other times the specialties do save lives that go on to be productive. My ex had a quadruple bypass in his fifties, from which he recovered well and is 9 years past it, working, earning, looking after his new family, I am glad it worked, My mother just died -she was 106 and didn't have many interventionist other that thyroid meds, BP meds which were stopped a few years ago, cholesterol meds which were stopped over 10 years ago, Her family is long lived, Vascular dementia set in when she was 100, but up to then she had a good QOL. I am 81 and, as far as I know nowhere near on my way out. I still live in my house, am planning to sell, move south and buy another house, planning a trip in the fall, and so on. My concession to reaching 80 has been to order some groceries which are delivered and I am thinking about hiring someone to clean my house. I have CFS and FM so I can't garden any more. I still do the 5 hour drive to the city, though I don't do it in the winter now. Winter here is ferociously cold at times. You have to deal with what you have been given. Lifestyle matters a lot, genetics does less so according to the experts. Whatever is ahead, look after yourself and make the best of it. Mother never wanted any extraordinary measures taken to keep her alive. She lived to 106 anyway.
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Yes I agree. My situation feels a little unique because my mother practiced Christian Science for years thus avoiding medical intervention. She is now in a situation of deferred maintenance and is in AL taking a host of medications which keep her alive. Needless to say she has all sorts of problems. Her friends in the same religion have passed on. She requested heart valve replacement and came through that. I was also denied medical treatment as a child. It has been hard to get pass this resentment as I abhor this religion. They sell all sorts of publications which she still subscribes to. It just is odd to me that she has decided at this late stage to be medically proactive with her health. I begged her for years to seek treatment when a serious problem developed. Now I take her to all sorts of specialists to prolong her life as this is her wish.
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My doctor told me several years ago that people used to live lives of hard physical labor and then die suddenly. And that now we live lives with little physical labor and we die slowly over many years, due to the medical interventions we now have. I can see both sides of this, I can also see my dad, mentally clear but beyond physically frail and miserable in daily life, has been kept here by a huge team of medical interventions that have gone far beyond what they should have. And that’s said by a daughter who will be so sad when he’s gone
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A few years ago I asked if anyone else thought that the huge increase in dementia was The Fates way of getting the last laugh because modern healthcare had helped people cheat death when they were younger.
As for picking an arbitrary age - I guess that depends on your family history, the people in my family tend to live reasonably well into their 80's, my mom was independent past 90. When my father died at age 75 I accepted it because I was only in my thirties, things look a little different to me now.
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I so agree with you JoAnn29. I don’t want to live to be 80. I’m tired and the thought of possibly living in a NH, scares the crap out of me. Maybe I should move to Canada & legally have assisted death.
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None of my grandparents lived pass 65 & this was the early 60’s (1962 to be exact).

We’ve come a long way since then with the focus on preventative medicine & new pharmacology.

My mother’s mother, my grandmother, had CHF from what my mother told me about her symptoms- swelling in her legs, especially.

Am I bothered that we as a society decided to invest in treatment of those diseases my grandmother had (HTN, CHF) so that today a patient suffering from shortness of breath from CHF can take Lasix to rid the body of excess fluid? Not at all.

Am I bothered by seeing the great progress made in blood pressure medication, treatment of prostate cancer in men (where you can really gauge patient outcomes as non-fatal vs fatal cancer), treatment of diabetes, ...etc?
No, not at all.

What is bothersome is that because of this mindset, when faced with a terminal disease or illness ( cirrhosis, metastatic cancer...serious illnesses) - we don’t know how to just let nature take its course and allow a person to die. Death is part of living.

We need to find that that common ground in managing our elderly and allowing them to “let go” when any further testing or treatment is futile. We need to determine when too much treatment becomes more of a burden for the dying than the benefit of living a few days more, or months longer.

I cannot say I regret all the progress made in managing diseases our grandparents died from at early ages (50-60’s). But eventually nature will take its course.
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Interesting comment. Mum will be 85 in a couple weeks. She lives independently, alone now that my step dad died (last November), She drives, volunteers, curls, dragon boats, goes to Church, keep a lovely yard and home. Her twin sister is much the same, both could pass for 20 years younger.

Neither take any medications nor see any specialists. They are naturally healthy.

Mum has two fears, death is not one of them. She fears losing her mind to dementia. A very good friend was diagnosed with Alz back in the 1980s and the disease was devastating. Her second fear is losing control of her body, but her mind being intact. She has an Advance Directive and I am her decision maker when the time comes. Mum believes in Medically Assisted Death, which is legal here in Canada.

Interestingly Mum and Auntie Mary still have a great many childhood friends who are also in their 80's and for the most part healthy and active. Their eldest cousin died in November, of their many cousins she was the first to pass (except one who died in childhood) Their mother lived to 82 and died from chronic leukemia, their grandmother lived to be 92.

So I think some families are lucky genetically and will live to great years in good health. My ex husband's uncles on his Mum's side all died within one year of age 70. (69, 70, 71). Yet his Dad and Dad's brother are both well into the 80s now.

It is Dad's 90th birthday on the 22nd. He is very frail now, but manages his ADLs, including grocery shopping. He is still alert and mentally active (does puzzles, reads voraciously, watches and discusses the news), but tires very easily. His father died of lung cancer around age 70.
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Yes, modern medicine keep us living too long.
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