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Old 03-20-2015, 06:19 AM
 
Location: delaware
688 posts, read 866,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
I don't know why people would have such a nihilistic attitude based on the climate. The climate is what it is. It is probably not going to change a great deal in the lifetime of anyone currently alive. Even if it does "worsen," I can't imagine wanting to die early because of it.




this forum is filled with posters who are considering or seeking a change, and escape from snowy, cold , icey winters, and some who are seeking a change from what they consider to be oppressively hot, humid summers . so, it would seem that climate and weather have a major impact on the quality and enjoyment of life for many.

as i stated in my post, while deteriorating climate conditions would certainly add to a diminishing of the desire to live to be very old, what has as much or more impact are the losses of significant people in one 's life, as a person ages. some of my awareness and sensitivity in this area, is due to my work in geriatric social work, having often facilitated support groups of elderly dealing with change and loss. the element of personal loss was predominant in comments i heard over and over again from participants in the group. in my own life, i lost most relatives and close family in my thirties and forties, as my parents were middle aged when i was born, and i lost my husband in my fifties. so, from a personal viewpoint, loss matters and changes the trajectory of a life forever. these losses become more difficult to absorb and process as one ages, and the ability to reinvent a new life becomes a very difficult challenge.

as far as "dying early", i feel that dying in one's forties and fifties is that. since i am already almost 72, i am clearly in the realm of "mid aging", and consider, at least at this point, living to mid eighties to be a good length of life. what i'll feel like , if i live that long, i don't know. but, for a variety of reason, climate and personal losses a major consideration, age 100 holds no charms.


catsy girl
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:00 AM
 
9,233 posts, read 9,300,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterlily View Post
From news reports I've seen they say the baby boomers are a lot more healthy than any generation before them. I don't know what we did that was so different.

Some estimate that we'll live longer as well. Now I've read some stuff that says we may all live into our 90s. Wouldn't that be something? What about the next generation?

At this rate we may not be considered to be older people but just middle aged.
Superficially, this sounds good. However, I am very negative about what I am seeing. People live longer largely because of advances in health care. These advances are coming at a huge cost to all of society and the direction we are taking right now is simply unsustainable.

Longer lives require longer payments by social security and private pensions. Without tax and contribution increases, most retirement plans simply aren't up to paying benefits that may have to last thirty or more years. Some people will literally be retired for a longer period of time than they spent in the labor force. Yet, when it is suggested that retirement ages ought to be increased to reflect this simple demographic fact, a large percentage of the population goes absolutely crazy. You can't reason with them because "they want what they want". In fairness, many employers are moving the opposite direction. They seem to want younger and younger employees and are refusing to hire anyone older than 50. This drives much of the desire for early retirement.

My mother is in her nineties and blind. She requires daily assistance from an aide. I have now hired the aide as employee and added to my own payroll because its the cheapest way to get her these services. Few people can really afford what my family can and its only because of some unique financial circumstances we can do all this for Mom. The alternative would be for her to live in a care facility, but she doesn't want that and it would be expensive too.

Frankly, I not only don't rejoice over these increase lifespans, I greatly fear where this is leading our society. There is much about it that is not positive.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:22 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,534,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean_ji View Post
I happened on to an article in the Atlantic entitled "WHy I Hope To Die At 75". It's well written and provides much food for thought.
I read that article some time ago and am glad to see it posted again. I quite agree with the author with one minor adjustment. At age 57, like he was when he wrote the article, I was in robust, good health and ready to live forever. Now, at the near approach to 69 and having been struck down by a neurological disorder at age 66, 76 is looking good to, as Douglas MacArthur said of old soldiers, "...just fade away."

Both of my grandmothers lived until well into their late 80s. My mother would have likely done so as well but for her alcoholism and pancreatic cancer which felled her at 67 but she didn't really wish to live anyway. Men in my family have had average life spans of 71 years for the past two generations so I plan to exceed those by half a decade at least. All-in-all and given my relatively newly acquired physical deficits, 76 seems a decent age to assume room temperature. But I will do nothing to ensure it. That would fly in the face of my religious beliefs. Therefore, it's just a thought. Check back with me in seven years to see if it's also a self-fulfilling prophesy.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,011,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Frankly, I not only don't rejoice over these increase lifespans, I greatly fear where this is leading our society. There is much about it that is not positive.
People deserve to live as long as they can. Whether or not it's societally "ethical" to "take" from the system in order to sustain life is another matter. Few people living a natural lifespan can decide their expiration date.

As for pensions, watch the rather depressing 1952 art film "Umberto D." An elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome. The film opens with a huge rally of pensioners protesting that they cannot get by on their meager pensions. Not everyone has been wealthy forever, and the majority of elders are on rather "fixed" incomes.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:55 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,534,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsy girl View Post
...i don't know. but, for a variety of reason, climate and personal losses a major consideration, age 100 holds no charms.

catsy girl
I always did say that if I did everything necessary to ensure I'd live to be 100 I wouldn't have one damn reason to want to live to 100.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:52 PM
 
1,981 posts, read 2,732,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
People deserve to live as long as they can. Whether or not it's societally "ethical" to "take" from the system in order to sustain life is another matter.
And I agree. However, few old/elderly people in ill health WANT to live on to a natural death, and there is no way for them to get out when they want. We are living longer -- but most of us are not living better after 85. I don't care what you're reading; it's not happening. At least not this year -- it could improve in the years ahead, but I doubt that it will in time for our generation. I mean, I can envision a time when 90-year-olds are as spy as today's 60-year-olds -- but I think that's in the distant future.

For the past few years, The NY Times has been publishing articles re the plight of the ill elderly and the right-to-die movement.

I tend to think that people who read The NY Times, on line or on paper, tend to be a bit better educated (I'm not sure that's the right description I want to use) than the average American. And, over the years, I have been astounded by the myriad comments of retired and/or old people who are VERY pro physician-assisted suicide. Not all that long ago Oregon was the only state that had physician-assisted suicide, and so people (on The NY Times' web site) were either directly stating or alluding to the fact that they had their own 'stash' and were replenishing it as expiration dates came up. But now there are 5 right-to-die states (or 4 -- NM is almost there but not quite), and I would make an educated guess that NY and CA will be the next two.

And I think right-to-die laws will spread relatively quickly. I think we'll start educating our kids at a early age (HS?). I also think that if we could just get the Christian religions to stop scaring us to death with threats of H, we'd be much less afraid. And, altho' you may laugh (and it's perfectly all right me -- honest ), I think that some decades down the road, PA suicide will be a sacrament or at least be sanctioned by The Church (some of them, if not all of them). Because when we stop focusing on our fears, we have to realize that PA suicide is the most humane way to die.

Those who are not pro physician-assisted suicide are scared to death that they'll be 'murdered'. And I think that it's a valid concern -- god knows, we abuse everything under the sun. BUT I also think that we will do everything we possibly can to ensure that those of us who want to die a natural death are allowed to do so. [As much as I am pro-PA suicide, I am and always will be pro natural death for those who want it. No one should be forced to die before their time.]
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Old 03-20-2015, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,011,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
However, few old/elderly people in ill health WANT to live on to a natural death, and there is no way for them to get out when they want.
Book list:

Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying (Derek Humphry)

A Better Way of Dying (Jeanne Fitzpatrick, Eileen M. Fitzpatrick, William Colby)

Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death (Joshua Slocum and Lisa Carlson)

Dying Well (Ira Byock)
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Old 03-20-2015, 02:29 PM
 
1,981 posts, read 2,732,822 times
Reputation: 3559
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Book list:

Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying (Derek Humphry)

A Better Way of Dying (Jeanne Fitzpatrick, Eileen M. Fitzpatrick, William Colby)

Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death (Joshua Slocum and Lisa Carlson)

Dying Well (Ira Byock)
No -- unless I misunderstand you -- one of my points is this and I obviously didn't make it clear at all: People will 'stash' until the cows come home, but, when it comes down to it, most are still too afraid (guilt/natural fear of death) to actually do it. Or we have slipped into dementia without realizing it, and then we don't have the wherewithal to do it.

And it's very scary to do it all alone, no doubt (or with only our spouse, knowing that he/she could very well be charged with manslaughter, in most states). I think it would take a lot of courage. When the time comes for me, I know I'll be (normally and rightfully) scared, or at least I can imagine that I will be a little scared. And I certainly don't want to die without telling anyone and all alone. (Of course, I now live in a right-to-die state -- or almost -- so I don't anticipate that happening.)

We should have the option of having a physician -- or nurse -- or some medical professional -- there with us when we die. And family also, if wanted.

If you all haven't seen the documentary "How to Die in Oregon", I highly recommend it. (I think it's still streaming on Netflix.) I've watched it 2-3 times, and I have cried every time. Not because it's 'scary' -- not at all -- but because it's so beautiful (and sad, of course). We should all be so fortunate to die a death as good as the dying, middle-aged woman who was followed in the documentary, from almost the beginning of her diagnosis to the very end.

We absolutely should not have to 'break the law', to die alone, to implicate our spouse and/or adult children, in order to die the death we want in our own way and own time.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:37 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,534,226 times
Reputation: 29083
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Book list:

Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying (Derek Humphry)

A Better Way of Dying (Jeanne Fitzpatrick, Eileen M. Fitzpatrick, William Colby)

Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death (Joshua Slocum and Lisa Carlson)

Dying Well (Ira Byock)
I wish Erma Bombeck had written a book about it.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:46 PM
 
1,981 posts, read 2,732,822 times
Reputation: 3559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I wish Erma Bombeck had written a book about it.

I loved Erma Bombeck. LOLOLOLOLOL I STILL have a couple of her books around here.

This has been 'one of those days' in so many ways -- you've given me the first laugh I've had all day.
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