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My mother is completely alone in life. Although she is not in a great amount of pain, she can no longer walk, dress herself or go to the bathroom. Her adult children are not in positions that they can stop working to look after her. Her care is approximately $10,000 a month out of pocket. No matter how "attractive" her surroundings are, living at this stage with no mobility is for the very wealthy, which she is not. It's clear that our society and the medical industry at large has not fully debated why we believe we should live as long as we can when in reality the cost and loneliness that accompanies a very long life is in reality a nightmare. My father and I worked diligently to make smart investments to weather whatever might come but there is no way that most working American's can actually afford the cost that is necessary to keep people alive when it's clear that they have lived much too long.

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My dad is 92 and really doesn't have a good quality of life anymore. I don't want to be a burden on my kids. I really hope I'm gone before that happens.
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A twenty-something woman I work with recently announced, "When I get real old, like 50 or 60, I'll be ready to go." Well, I'm 62 and not ready to check out yet.:)
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The big factors in increased mean life expectancy are

town planning
vaccination
clean water and effective sewerage
antisepsis
Pasteurisation
anaesthesia
obstetric care
absence of major wars

more or less in that order of discovery. It's the things that kill young people that make the real difference. Antibiotics have been wonderful while they lasted but they didn't make the biggest jump. Blood pressure treatments and statins are just tinkering with the back end.
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Well men evolved didn't they? People who invented Penicillin etc and now cholesterol lowering drugs and heart medicine were not around then. This earth and the people in it are on a journey I suppose. I don't think we're supposed to know the why's and wherefores but if you ask God maybe he'll give you the answers that you need for your own personal journey.
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I appreciate the spirit of the last comment, but it doesn’t make sense. Why did God decide to allow the invention of vaccinations, or of blood pressure medications, which undoubtedly prevent and postpone death in many many people? Did God decide that from about 1950 He would number the days differently? My GP says that few of his patients would live for long beyond 85 without drugs (and particularly drugs related to heart function), but the options are rarely discussed, particularly in a Nursing Home context. The budget of many Western countries is increasingly overwhelmed by the costs of the very elderly and close to death. It is hard to see who genuinely benefits.
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I think that without quality, quantity is pointless.

I do believe that our days are numbered and God has made that decision and there is a reason why some live active, healthy fulfilled lives into their 90s and some are in a living nightmare at a young age. I don't know why but I believe there is a reason that only God can answer.

Live each day as though it were your last. Live, love and laugh as though each day were your first. There in is happiness.
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dogperson, remember when sixty used to be old? I'm almost sixty and I don't think I'm quite ready to pack er in just yet either. LOL
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A young woman I work with recently announced, "When I get to be 50 or 60, I'll be ready to go." I'm 62 and not ready to check out yet.
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I think people need a purpose in life to wake up for. I know my own Mom really started to decline when she had to give up driving and then she stopped going to church even when other church people offered to drive her. She hung on to her independence with a death grip. Excuse the pun..........

When I go and use our workout facility here there is this lady who looks to be in her eighties at least and there she is on the treadmill beside me. She goes for at least an hour. She looks like she is hating every minute of it, mind you but then I probably do too. LOL One time she would glance over at me occasionally and I almost got the feeling we were in a race. :) She would probably win too. I just pray she doesn't keel over one day. Lord forbid. Then again it will probably be me who keels over.
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Ah yes CM, I see it there now. I was half asleep when I posted my last remark.
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I guess we are all free to decide when we've had enough of life, in Canada we are even allowed a physician assisted death if we qualify. I think the problem lies when we are making choices in advance or for someone else - who is to say when life ceases to have value? If someone with dementia is generally contented or fears death should we hurry them off this mortal coil because when they were in their right mind they would have abhorred what their life has become? You'll often hear someone say they would rather die then lose their eyes, or their ears, or their ability to walk, or think, or.... and yet people live with all of those things. When to pull the plug - there's the rub.
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I think people say they want to check out by 75 . or 80 but when they reach advanced age few really want to do it. But becoming infirm is not a given. I think we collectively need to rethink retirement as a plunge into a mostly sedentary lifestyle. There are many involved productive seniors. Some employed or running businesses well into their 80's 90's and beyond. Also seniors can and do make a important and lasting impact with their volunteerism. Not to mention they can also
be the glue that holds extended families together in a positive way.

It's the waiting around to die in pain, loneliness and misery that people experience
in demanding 24/7 care situations that I think lead us to seek the early exit. Entire families plunged into misery with no happy outcome. Not to mention the extreme expense of it. But is that really inevitable or have we inadvertently painted ourselves as a society into this corner due to certain lifestyle choices? Choices that end up becoming irreversible as we age?
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It was Salutem responding first who started in on Belgium, it's still there at the bottom.

I'm think the Belgian Tourist Board might have mixed feelings about this sudden surge in consumer interest.
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I guess the original post from the op was edited so my move to Belgium comment makes no sense anymore. Just in case anyone thinks I hit my head or something.
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CW if you have a good deadpan expression you can put on, tell your friend you'll hold him to that.
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I have a good friend who has repeatedly mentioned that 75 is the proper age to check out - I'm flabbergasted at that!
At my mom's nursing home the activities director put together a poster of all the residents who were in the over 90's club - I was amazed to discover that there were close to 30 in a combined AL/NH with only 100 residents in total, almost half of them living on the AL side of the building. Age and disability are such relative things, I've known people who were "old" and needed care in their 70's and those who are not well past their 90's, I don't think it serves any of us to arbitrarily pick and age that is "too old".
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And your point is?

Actually, of more immediate concern: what's your plan? Do we need to alert the authorities..?!

I can't work out whether it's the cost or your mother's state of mind that are troubling you more.

If it's the cost: why are you paying it?

If it's your mother's state of mind: how does a lady with children plural come to feel so alone in life? And what might you do to ameliorate that, if you want to?

I have to disagree that our society and the medical profession - I'd say, rather than industry - and the health care industry and policy makers within governments have not fully debated the ins and outs of longevity, quality of life, and cost of care. I sometimes feel that, in between elections at least, we debate almost nothing else. There have even been attempts to quantify: I cite the unit known as the QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Year) which is used in determining value for money in public health decisions; it really is, I have not made this up, and neither did Jonathan Coe in his novel "What A Carve Up" although I think a lot of readers imagined he was being satirical.

But you seem to be wistfully longing for the debate to come to a practical conclusion, with an agenda attached; and how can there ever be one?

Idly musing - why pick 90? Why not 80? Why not 70? What criteria are you using to determine the value of an individual life?

I wonder what triggered your post, whether it's anxieties about future financing or if you'd just got back from seeing your mother and felt wretched on her behalf. I'm sorry for it, either way. There is an awful lot of anguish being suffered out there.
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Agreed. I have no interest being around past 80, especially if I’m in poor health.
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I agree with Gershun, it is really not up to us.
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But can you afford to move to Belgium?

I don't mean to get religious but I think God predetermines how many years we live on this earth. So, if you die when you are 60 or live to be 115 it's not really up to you, the healthcare system or anything else.

Having said that, I agree. My Hubs is always saying to me "you and I are gonna live a long time" and I always reply, I'll be fine dying at 80 or somewhere thereabouts. I may change my mind when I'm 80. We'll see.

I know my Mom was ready to go for a few years before she finally went to be with her Lord. I guess he wasn't finished with her. I know I held on to her with all my might and was responsible for bringing her back from the brink of death a few times. Sometimes I think I was being selfish and should have just left her to die but who can do that? Not me.
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I am only 36 and I don't want to live that long. Longevity runs in both sides of the family if you are a woman in my family. Both great grandmothers lived into their 90's. They drank, smoked like chimneys and are whatever they wanted and their mothers did the same (but only lived to be in their 80's). They had said living so long can be it's own hell, you outlive your spouse, outlive most or all of your friends, your body is falling apart faster than you want and there isn't much that does hold your interest. Think about it, at the age of 90 and beyond, you've done pretty much everything.
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Tom - Thoughts like that spin around in my head sometimes. But I never articulated them the way you just did. Food for thought.
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I can't speak for anyone else. I know that personally I wouldn't want to live that long. I recently watched a youtube video on a 104 yr. old man in Belgium ( a right to die country). He decided there was no point to living any longer, signed some papers, received some pills, took them and died. If I ever live that long, I'll move to Belgium
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