I've been reading many of these stories and it's really sad that medical science has progressed and found so many ways to prolong life beyond the normal expectancy without considering the quality of that life.
My Son knows what I have been going through with my Mother and he says to me "My God , I hope you are not like that when you get old. "
It seems cruel to be still living when you are not able to care for yourself. And for some that are not even able to enjoy doing little crafts and leisurely things, how boring that must be, day after day. Just waiting and waiting and knowing you are tormenting your loved ones.
What were they thinking?
Are we seeing many cases where Children become too old to take care of their Parents?
The Hippocratic oath, sworn to by all physicians, requires that they "do no harm". Thus they are conditioned to jump in when any abnormal medical condition exists. But, as I see it, death (in the elderly) is a natural process...just as natural as birth.
You can also say that in the future, if you are not able to make decisions for yourself, you would not want to treat any life-limiting illness like cancer, or to be hospitalized for a surgery, or even to treat infections with IV antibiotics (which require hospitalization). You can say that you wouldn't want to be tube fed indefinitely, or to start dialysis. If you do not want CPR/Ventilation or any other "extreme" measures, you should have a POLST/MOLST form (Provider/Medical Order for Life Sustaining Treatment). This is an out-of-hospital DNR form that first responders will follow. Most states have this type of form; in California it is the POLST, https://capolst.org/. You will always get care, but with a POLST the care will be focused on comfort and quality of life, not using every medical treatment available.
Talk to your family and friends about what you want. Also your physician. Make sure everyone has copies of your Advance Directive document. Give them an opportunity to ask questions. This will allow them to support you when the time comes and you are much more likely to get the care that you want.
Deardarla, I'm sorry you are going through this with your mother. If she is no longer able to create an Advance Directive, at least talk with your son about what both of you think your mom would want. It helps if family and loved ones are all on the same page. Engage her physician in the conversation, and continue to advocate for what you think is in her best interest. And, be sure you have an AD for yourself!
I think you're new to the forum. I sent you a private message last night which you can find by clicking on your "M" avatar and either click on your "news feed" or by clicking on your "profile" page.
I have a friend that tired of being a prosecuting attorney so he switched over to doing malpractice suits. He is making a fortune!
When the extended family lived in close proximity, mom and dad could live with grown children when they had trouble cooking for themselves or doing home maintenance. They were built-in babysitters and odd job performers, but still viable (if sometimes difficult) members of the family and even the community. Children learned to tolerate and perhaps even enjoy, the ways of "old people". When needed, siblings or cousins, older children or neighbors could pitch in if mom and dad needed more care/supervision. The infirmities of age were familiar and expected. The burden may have been quite weary-some at times, but elders did not linger indefinitely in poor health. They did not take life- prolonging drugs. And the family physician did not take heroic measures to preserve their lives. It never occurred to anyone that they had "choices" about dying. They just "went" when it was "their time". That's what I want.
--being un able to care for oneself, being a burden to love ones, and tolerating so much discomfort--is hard for me to understand.
Well 2 years later her heart is beating fine but her mental state is awful. She is in Memory Care and rarely recognizes her own children but by golly her heart is fine! So we sit and watch for her money run out while the doctors chalk up her surgery as a success because she survived it.
I love my mother but I know this is not what she expected her old age to be like.
They may come up, incidentally, with some ways to make health care easier or less uncomfortable. And some doctors are more sensitive than others to inevitable challenges of aging. But doctors are not God (although some might consider themselves His equal). Generally, improving the QUALITY of life is something medical experts leave to others.
"My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for he is flesh; his days shall be a hundred and twenty years." (Gen. 6:3)
We are facing more cases of dementia in seniors because they are living longer - which seems like an advance in health care, to me.
It breaks my heart to see what my mother’s life is like with her mind gone, and I will not live like that myself. I fully agree with other commenters who have said that they plan to end their lives if they enter dementia. That is not living, it is only existing, and I refuse to put myself or any other family members through that.
A neighbor I am close to is in her 60s and is taking care of both elderly parents, one in her home and the other living alone, while also battling stage 4 cancer herself. I don’t know how she does it.
It was hard on me as the primary caregiver. I just turned 70 and had my own health issues while caring form mom.