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Old 08-31-2019, 10:29 AM
Location: SF Bay Area
1,427 posts, read 2,451,920 times
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Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post
Also, if someone is in a hospital and wants no intervention, you need to have a POLST or MOLST (called different things in different states) signed by the doctor and posted in the room. The argument goes that the staff doesn't have time to look for an advanced directive in an emergency, so this document is, effectively, a medical DNR/no intubation order, signed by the most-hallowed DOCTOR and stands a better chance of being followed.
I agree with you 100%. Having a POLST form is absolutely necessary for any person who is in poor health as it indicates clearly what their desires are, going FAR beyond health directives. Those who are not in poor health should discuss POLST with family members to let their desires be known (although they can't have an official signed POLST document).

I had never heard of POLST before until my brother went into a nursing home. I filled it out for him (he is unable to do so) and the doctors signed it. He is to receive comfort care, period. No resuscitation, no artificial feeding tubes.

Discussing POLST with my mother, she indicated to me her desires, and although we don't have a POLST form for her, I do know what her desires are (comfort care only) and will make sure her wishes are followed.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:33 AM
7,082 posts, read 3,926,241 times
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Originally Posted by Kentucky62 View Post
If we end up "warehoused", so be it, I like that visual.


My plan B for myself if things get bad

I always loved that scene, and the video he watches. It was very moving. I was very young when I first saw that movie. I thought then...so, what's wrong with him choosing to go this way? And the govt helping him? Whereas the point, I think, was for the audience to think it was horrible. But in my young mind, this seemed perfect, for him...he was older, there would be no future for him in the changed world, and the world had become a very ugly place.

Sad to think that the pictures in that video...already the earth is much changed.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:43 AM
6,538 posts, read 5,225,131 times
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Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
Many years ago there was an article in the Atlantic written by a doctor. In it he discussed how aging and healthcare has really done a disservice to people. Yes, since 1900 we live 50% longer but the number of quality years we have has only gone up about 20%. He described it thus:

In other words, we spend a lot more time now lingering but not dying. The author of the article says the ideal age to die now is about 75 and has lots of data to back that up. Of course for most people that is not actionable information, but it nevertheless tells me that longevity is perhaps overrated.

a couple of my older friends have gone through this with their spouses

Being dragged around from appointment to appointment. They could barely move. Body parts amputated

Dialysis three times a week. would eat one day and not the next. Wives all frazzled. Sad.

two or more years of this. And yeah - they were in their mid 70s
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:52 AM
7,082 posts, read 3,926,241 times
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Originally Posted by Nefret View Post
As a nurse, I often saw complicated procedures performed on people who had no meaningful quality of life and it was usually the family driving the decision. As the head of the ethics committee at our hospital said when discussing decisions to override the patient's Advanced Directive, "dead men don't sue".

As a physician, he was going to follow what the family wanted regardless of any wishes that the patient had set down in writing, witnessed and notarized, in advance of end of life care.

When I first began nursing, over 30 years ago, I would hear doctors say to the family " he's suffered enough, it's time to let him go, we will keep him comfortable."

At the point I retired a few years ago, what I was hearing was "he will soon die if we don't do such and such procedures, what do you want to do?"
Yes, I fear this is where we are these days. Maybe driven by money. Maybe driven by a perceived ethics in that if we have the ability to do such-and-such, we'll be accused of being unethical or heartless to suggest that the procedure not to be done in grandpa's case. Or fear of being sued.

Whether I will choose to go later, or will cling to life...it's hard to say, since I've not had that choice before. It may depend on whether I figure I'm at a good point to go, with matters settled. I have found new good homes for my pets, my finances are in order, I made burial/cremation plans, etc.

This reminds me of the movie "Alice" with Julianne Moore. She's diagnosed w/Alzheimer's while she's in her 40s. She decides she doesn't want live years with Alzheimer's, but wants to get as much out of life while she can, until her disease progresses too much. She hides some pills in the house and does a video. I think she sets it on automated e-mail or text to herself for a certain date. When that date arrives, the future Alice sees the notation, and does watch the video. Her disease has progressed a lot, but not so much that she doesn't understand the video. The video is herself, at a prior point in time, talking to her current Alice, and telling her it's time to take some pills, and tells her where the pills are. The future Alice understands, finds the pills...but something happens to distract her. I forget what. But that was it. She missed her one chance. Alice never remembered again about the video and the pills. She was too foregone. It was very sad,since she would then have to live the rest of a long life slowly losing her brain, just what the healthy Alice had decided she did not want.
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:02 AM
Location: colorado springs, CO
5,225 posts, read 2,410,900 times
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I really, really question the life expectancy statistics. Something just does not jive with what I see in the world around me. Maybe it's because I'm 'young' (51) for this forum but my perspective is also based on doing quite a bit of genealogy research for several families that has required for me to nitpick my way through hundreds of years of archived newspapers over the last 5 years.

I think life expectancy rates in the past were influenced by higher infant/child mortality, the railroad industry, the mining industry & the two world wars. That once you made it to your 'golden years' (they must have been called that for a reason?); the quality of life you had to look forward to was much better than it is now.

I don't know what has changed in the last 50 years since I was born (well, what hasn't) but it's starting to look like quite the rip off.
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:14 AM
114 posts, read 32,153 times
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Originally Posted by coschristi View Post
I think life expectancy rates in the past were influenced by higher infant/child mortality
That has a lot to do with it. People aren't really living that much longer. There are fewer babies and young children dying of diseases.
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:25 AM
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,419 posts, read 15,512,080 times
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There are different statistics on life expectancy - the most commonly mentioned number is life expectancy at birth, but there are other stats as well. If you are presently 65, for instance, you can expect to live another 18 years on average. If you are currently 75, you can expect to live another 12 years on average. Note that the numbers don't "add up" - if you are 65, you can expect to live to 83, but if you are 75 you can expect to live until 87. That is mostly because you've survived the most common mortality issues in your 60s and early 70s.

Women in the 65+ cohorts tend to live another 2-6 years longer than men.
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:26 AM
228 posts, read 90,169 times
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Originally Posted by StrawberrySoup View Post
Well, that's the thing, isn't it? Having the Cancer Fairy visit your house tends to cause more disciplined thinking I think.

I would much sooner throw a huge party (really huge) than spend $9k/month wearing diapers and having Nurse Ratched ignore my bedsores. The tricky thing is finding a suicide plan that is somewhat dignified, doesn't result in a mess for others, and is easy to do for the cowardly. Leaping from bridges or walking in front of trains is a tricky matter and probably too difficult, although I have to admire the mental strength of the people I know who have done it.
IF you have a little money, there is a non profit in Switzerland that is available.
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:28 AM
935 posts, read 548,983 times
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Originally Posted by peta2013 View Post
One of the bigger issues in my opinion is that we are also spread out. Sure, elderly could probably get along just fine with some assistance as you said. The problem is that that really requires family and a support network to be around and close by. Most things will go well and things will be uneventful. When the sh*t hits the fan though itís critical that someone non predatory is in the mix.
I take my father regularly for his appointments and I can't tell you how many times I see people dropped off for appointments who truly need an advocate. The idea that shuttles can take the place of a loved one accompanying a patient is a myth.The other week there was one woman who was dropped off who could barely shuffle with her walker. The receptionist assumed I was with her and gave me her chart to fill out. I felt so bad for that poor woman. This happens all the time.

And yes, there will come a time when the "stuff hits the fan" and you need an advocate, as assistants are NOT your relatives, nor do they really have any power (or obligation) to take care of you and make the major decisions for care. If you don't make plans to arrange this the state can and will step in to do it and there are horror stores of predators taking advantage of people in these situations (even taking over their estates).
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Old 08-31-2019, 12:44 PM
Location: Dark Side of the Moon
222 posts, read 136,625 times
Reputation: 1623
Originally Posted by Nevada2012 View Post
IF you have a little money, there is a non profit in Switzerland that is available.
The vast majority of people don't have that kind of money. Even if you do, by the time you are ready for this type of solution, what are the odds you'll be in shape to make all the arrangements? If you or someone supportive of your decision is able to make the arrangements, then you have the problem of the actual travel. Will you be in shape to get to the airport, get onto the plane, make connecting flights, sit through those flights, and then find your way to the clinic in a foreign country? This is hardly a reasonable solution.

For most of us, the absolute most expensive time of our lives will be at the end. Assisted living, nursing homes, hospitalizations, it takes almost no time to wipe out a lifetime of savings and end up with the government picking up the tab for the rest. The worst part of it is that many of us don't want the care. We'd rather go gently and with dignity.

Sooner or later society will have to wake up and recognize that there is a better way to treat our aging population. People should have choices. Realistic choices.
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