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I would rather be dead than to put my family through hell with such a dreadful situation like dementia.


I don’t mean any offense towards anyone else. These are feelings about myself.

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Oh, I went to Chdottir's recommended The Good Death Society, a blog. The link: https://www.thegooddeathsocietyblog.net

Thank you, Chdottir. I just read a cautionary article, The Financial Cost of Ignoring Advance Directives. Infuriating!
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Chdottir's comment about a dementia patient not being of sound mind to take advantage of the Right to Die law, a month ago I updated my living will that if I reach the latter stages of dementia and/or Alzheimer's I want to take advantage of that law. (My living will is more specific than this.) I make my intent known while I'm of a sound mind.

While the keep-'em-dying-till-the-end crowd may not allow me to do so, I want to present my intentions clearly.
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Martha, assisted suicide is not an option for people who are just depressed or feel they are a burden to their family though and i am confident that as more states pass these laws, they are will all have the same strict requirements-being of sound mind and terminally ill with 6 months or less to live. Most people with less than 6 months to live are probably in bad shape and are losing their quality of life. If they want to end their suffering, I say LET THEM.
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Cali, Martha, chdottir,

It can be confusing. So much that we do not know or begin to understand about so many medical situations. Plus everyone experiences these situations differently. Diseases effect everyone individually. Meds effect everyone individually as well, so yeah, it can be terribly tricky to deal with.
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I take no offense.

This is a really tricky one. There comes a time in dementia when (we assume) the person is unaware of their condition. Since no one has ever recovered from dementia that wasn't caused by (1.) Extra fluid pressure on the brain - reversable, (2.) A bad urinary tract infection - reversable, (3.) A bad reaction to a medication or combinations of medications - reversable, (4.) dehydration - reversable, (5.) a high fever - reversable, & there are a few other examples then we'll never know what a person with Alzheimer's or other form of ireversable dementia knows or doesn't know, is aware or not aware of.

What's scary about allowing assisted suicide is the problem that some individuals may decide to go that route because they a simply very depressed, feel they are a burden to their families/society, they've been pressured by family members or other parties to make the decision, etc.

My mother wanted to go this route but it wasn't a legal option in Indiana. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it because I learned in counseling that a person cannot commit suicide when they are at the deepest, darkest depths of depression - they haven't the mental or physical energy to do it. It's only after they start getting better & see how far away the "light at the end of the tunnel" seems to be that they have the mental & physical energy to do themselves in.

I understand there are times when it's a logical option. If one's ability to swallow is so compromised they cannot eat & it's not going to get any better, if they're in horrible pain that cannot be controlled by medication, etc. then it's understandable - as long as it can be done in such a way that the person truly does not suffer. That's really the important thing. There are numerous ways to kill oneself but that doesn't mean they are all easy or gentle.

How can we truly know how we'll feel unless we are faced with the actual situation & are able to communicate our wishes. Even someone who says that's what they want to do if they ever are in X or Y situation, cannot truly know how they will feel until they are & then if they aren't able to communicate with others, who's to know if they still feel that way. Oh, I know others will say they won't change their mind; but . . . .

It's really isn't an easy decision & what if the individual's philosophy is different from their caretaker's?? There are so many slippery slopes to this & I personally am concerned that we're headed toward a society who will have no compunction when it comes to ridding itself of those who drain it's resources & aren't seen as being useful or contributing to society.

What it really comes down to is personal choice made by the individual without input from those who will profit from that person's death be it financially or indirectly -relieves society of burdensome expenses.
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Chdottir, thanks for pointing that out. I knew about the 6 month life expectancy but it didn’t occur to me until now that a dementia patient will not be of sound mind well before their final 6 months. I totally understand the reasoning behind the 2 requirements but it is really unfortunate for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
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It is unfortunate the the Right to Die laws (I live in Washington State) don't have the option of using it for dementia. This is because it requires 1) an expectation that you will die within 6 months and 2)You must be of sound mind when you ask the doctor for the medication.

If you do an internet search for The Good Death Society Blog it has good information on this. There is a topic list on Dementia on the right side. Click on that.
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againx,

May I share your truck with you? Two birds with one stone kind of deal. Sorry, guess I am having a bad day and my sick sense of humor is coming through.
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I think we would all like to sign up for the "die peacefully in my sleep before I am sick, in pain, a burden to others, etc.".

I say "push me in front of a truck!".
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Thanks for information, Cali. I will read it. Sounds like a great thing to have in place.

Haha, Louisiana politics is a disaster!
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I think end of life, no matter how it comes, is terrifying.

It takes a lot of courage to grow old.
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I'm a trekkie. I love Star Trek. In one of the episodes, in an alien society, people live to a certain age, 60 yrs. old if I remember correctly. When someone reaches that age, it is their custom that the person ceases living and moves on to the next realm. How? Not sure, maybe by taking a drug then just lay down to die I guess. Then the family celebrates that person's life and accomplishments. This one alien scientist turned 60, fell in love with a human on the Enterprise, then refused to go back to his planet to go through with his end of life celebration, and the story goes on...

When I watched that episode, I thought that custom was extreme and barbaric, Now, I think it is less so. Not that I think we all should just die at a fixed age, but once we reach a point where our bodies/brains are more dead than alive, then we should move on. Let the new generations live.

Imagine if our grandparents and great grandparents just keep on living and living thanks to modern medicine, and we and our parents spend all our time just taking care and prolonging the lives of those centenarians, I shudder.
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Needhelp, thanks for the insight. That sounds a little horrific-your brain thinking your body is fully mobile but your body can’t cooperate! I hope your mother doesn’t get dementia.

Death with dignity is the same as a “right to die” law. Assisted suicide. People who are terminally ill can now go to their doctor & get prescribed a lethal dose of medication (I’m not sure what it is). They get to choose when and where they die, rather than suffer. Here is an enlightening article about one such woman who chose death with dignity https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/01/right-to-die-in-california-the-last-days-of-jil-finnegan/amp/

I cannot stand jerry brown for many reasons but signing this law is one of the only good things he did for this state IMO. Now, people like my MIL, do not have to suffer from cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, ALS, etc until they are gone. Hospice can only do so much. My MIL had shortness of breath, complete incontinence, spent her last 2 months bedbound. Couldn’t do anything for herself and could hardly move without losing her breath. She suffered horrible coughing spells. Yes hospice was wonderful and they treated her with dignity and in the end she passed peacefully but....overall the 2 months leading up to her death were cruel. She suffered. But thanks to this law, no one in California HAS to go through that, they can choose “death with dignity”. This is absolutely something I would choose for myself.

I wonder if Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are eligible to use this law?
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Grandma1954. I’ve already discuss the stash of pills plan with my sister. I will make a quiet exit before I need the level of care I’m giving my mom.
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Cali,

Some Parkinson’s patients do get dementia. I hope my mom doesn’t. Her brother, my uncle Eddie, had Parkinson’s too and lived to be 96 and did not get dementia. All people are different. It’s like other situations where we are all effected differently.

Yes, movements becomes extremely slow and rigid. Her brain thinks she can move but her body can’t always cooperate.

What is death with dignity law? I like the way that sounds. I seriously don’t want to long, lingering death.
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Needhelp, oh yes there are lots of ugly ways to leave this world! I don’t know much about Parkinson’s but a few years ago, I went to a group excercise class-basically high impact interval training lots of cardio and weight lifting-for a few months and one of the regular gal’s had Parkinson’s disease! She would skip some of the excercises and use lighter weights but but she gave it her all and she kept up with the class. The only thing I noticed was that she did walk a bit slow and her hands shook. Is Parkinson’s like dementia? Will your mom forget who you are?

Lung issues indeed are terrifying. My mom has COPD so yeah.....I have already decided, should my lungs decide to go bad on me, I’m taking the easy way out. I refuse to suffer the way my MIL did and the way my
mom will. If the curse strikes my husband, selfishly I hope he takes the easy way out too. Whatever he wants, he’ll have my full support. But I admit it, California has a death with dignity law and if we still live here if and when.....I hope he uses it. What his mother went through was horrific. It really sealed the deal for me. I want death with dignity. And
I’m going to tell my family that when the time is right.
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Cali,

My godmother had ALZ. When I would visit her in the NH she no longer knew who I was. Just so sad. I suppose it’s the one that scares me the most. Watching mom suffering with Parkinson’s is pretty scary too. She moves at a snail’s pace! Tricky neurological condition.

Lung issues would be horrible too like in your family. Lots of ugly ways to go, huh? Hate when my curious mind wanders to these ugly places!
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I agree, after seeing dad go though this and now mom getting "slippy".. I also just hope I don't forget where my pills are! And I have two friends who feel the same way.
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For me, it’s pulmonary fibrosis. After watching what it did to my MIL, I am terrified to get it. I’m terrified my husband and children will get it (sadly pulmonary fibrosis may be genetic on my MILs side, family members are participating in a study back east. We’ve lost my MIL and 3 of her children to pulmonary fibrosis/lung issues in the last 10 years). Being that I actually witnessed how devastating it is, the thought of getting it myself terrifies me. I’ve not had to witness cancer or dementia or alz upfront and in person, so while I KNOW they are horrific and devasting just like pulmonary fibrosis, I’m not really terrified at the thought of them. I definitely don’t want to die of any of them. Dementia does scare me after all I’ve read here but it just feels different because I’ve never been around someone with dementia during the really bad stages and at the end.
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It's scary not knowing who will help when/if you get this terrible disease.  My son, while I know he loves me, is married and has 2 babies and when it comes to doing things for me he is so unreliable that I can't imagine him taking care of me.  When you ask yourself who can I really and truly depend on right now and your own son's name doesn't even pop into your head, that is a very sad day for me.
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Yes. I hope I remember what I need to and where I have hidden stuff before it is too late should that be the case. I will need to write alot of lists. I better do it clearly because sometimes I can't read my writing. I write lists all the time but it's mainly for errands.

Just curious. Does anyone else feel the desire to contact anyone from their past? I don't know why I feel an interest to have closure. I am not obsessed but this goes on in my mind. I connected one friend from almost 30 years ago. We talked for 2 hours and have a plan to see each other in a couple of months. I would really be interested in hearing if others are experiencing this.
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Very cruel disease, grandma
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Dementia is the
Cancer from the 50's..a disease no one talked about and you did not want to "get" it because it was a death sentence.
The AIDS from the 80's..a disease no one talked about and you did not want to "get" it and the fear was so great people would not touch someone with "it", would not eat or drink from the same utensils even after being washed.
Both of these the life span has improved and lives have improved because of medications and advancements.
Can't say the same for any form of dementia...
You can be put on a medication that "will slow" the progression...but does it really? The decline continues. I often said when my Husband was alive even if they came out with a cure I would not have him take it because the massive damage has been done to the brain and that is not reversible.
What have I done?....
I have long term care insurance. No one will care for me the way I cared for my Husband. And I would not expect anyone to do so.
I am in a house that was built handicap accessible so I do not have to move I can and am aging into the house and will remain comfortable.
Do I have a plan if I am diagnosed...You bet I do and I am sure 90% of the people that answer this will say the same. I have a "stash of pills" that I would take..if I have the cognitive ability to do so..I have asked my sister if she would assist by setting out the pills and a glass of Amaretto. I would not ask her to "give" them to me as that would be assisting in the suicide and I would never do that to her or anyone. Other option would be to move to a state where assisted suicide is legal. (But there are hurdles to that as well)
The sad thing is dementia is harder on the family than it is one the person diagnosed with the dementia. My Husband did not have a care, he was cared for, he was loved, he was clean, fed, dry and for all intents and purpose he was healthy. I was the one that watched him decline day by day, month by month, year by year. When I walked into the room he would smile and kiss me hello, when I would leave to grocery shop he would give me a kiss goodbye..and I would cry on my way to the car. He just kissed me and smiled for me never the caregiver so I think he knew in his heart it was me...may not have known it in his brain but the heart knew!
Cruel disease!!!
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Thanks, your answer makes a lot of sense.

Can’t say I am fretting about it. Passing thoughts through my head after reading all the dreadful posts about dementia.

I guess I am like my grandma. She prayed for an easy death after watching grandpa suffer. She got her wish. She dropped dead suddenly. Heart just stopped. That’s how I want to go! Or in my sleep.
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Each of us has some sort of sword hanging over our heads. My mom had breast cancer. I have yearly mammograms. She also had macular degeneration so I have a yearly eye exam. She had dementia. I take a supplement for that as well and try to keep my mind active. I plan to speak with y children and ask for their input on how to best plan for my future and that of their bedridden father. Grandma had osteoporosis so I take calcium supplements. Dad had heart issues so I watch my diet.

What is your plan? Assisted suicide? Being locked away in a facility? Whatever your plans are, see an attorney who can help you get your wishes on paper now and let your family know what you’re doing. That way, you don’t need to fret and worry about inconveniencing anyone.
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