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(USA Today)   Survey finds death is the greatest fear of only 7% of seniors; living in pain and dependence is #1 for 64%   (usatoday.com) divider line 43
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2840 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jun 2012 at 1:05 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2012-06-18 12:22:38 PM
7 votes:
These numbers seem to support the case for legalizing assisted suicide.
2012-06-18 01:38:49 PM
4 votes:
I'm not a senior and that's my greatest fear.

I hope they legalize euthanasia, because if I start that horrible, lingering decline I'm outta here, and I'd rather not have to do it myself.
If they don't, I'll probably follow the example of Socrates and drink some hemlock tea.
2012-06-18 01:14:12 PM
4 votes:
It's not what kills you that you should fear...it's what you can live through.
2012-06-18 01:13:11 PM
4 votes:
Seniors?!?!?

Fark, I'm 40 and that is my greatest fear. To be stuck, in pain, and a horrible drag on my family. I would rather my family get to keep the memories of the person I am and not be exposed to the bitter person I am likely to become if I was in this position. I would be amazed to find someone favor the opposite on this board.

/most disabilities (paralysis, blindness, deafness...) are not pain+dependent
2012-06-18 01:41:05 PM
3 votes:
My mom's biggest fear is not that she'll be living in pain and dependence, but that she'll be too out of it to take care of the problem herself. I've pretty much known since I was in my teens that there's a 50% chance her death will be by suicide, but not until my father is gone and she is diagnosed with something terminal. My big fear with her is that she'll do it sooner rather than later if she gets something that will leave her unable to do it if she waits too long.
2012-06-18 01:36:38 PM
3 votes:
My mother died last Christmas for precisely this reason. She had a terror of becoming incapacitated and dependent on others. After major heart surgery years ago, 2 rounds of breast cancer, and the usual aches and pains of old age, when she had another heart attack right before her 80th birthday, she just refused to go to the hospital. It wasn't her heart, she said. Her heart was fine.

I guess that's how she wanted it. She died peacefully on the couch at my sister's.
2012-06-18 01:24:00 PM
3 votes:
Why don't we use an overdose of herion for euthanasia and lethal injections? This seems like a nice way to die. Give them a regular dose to get them feeling no pain then hit them with an overdose. Cheap and effective.

/not as cheap as a noose
2012-06-18 01:15:11 PM
3 votes:
When I get old, I hope to be able to pick my time. If I happen to be stricken with Alzheimer's or a similar illness, I hope a loved one puts me down.
2012-06-18 02:07:48 PM
2 votes:

Neeps: I'm not a senior and that's my greatest fear.

I hope they legalize euthanasia, because if I start that horrible, lingering decline I'm outta here, and I'd rather not have to do it myself.
If they don't, I'll probably follow the example of Socrates and drink some hemlock tea.


Aye, pretty much. Unfortunately I don't see euthanasia being legalized in most places (Oregon being the exception, since they managed it years ago) any time soon. People are too hung up on the "sanctity of life" stuff - and yes, some people will spout "it's a sin to take your own life, so you can't!"

The rest of us, as usual, will go, "It's my decision, and therefore none of your damn business."
2012-06-18 01:41:01 PM
2 votes:

madgonad: Seniors?!?!?

Fark, I'm 40 and that is my greatest fear. To be stuck, in pain, and a horrible drag on my family. I would rather my family get to keep the memories of the person I am and not be exposed to the bitter person I am likely to become if I was in this position. I would be amazed to find someone favor the opposite on this board.

/most disabilities (paralysis, blindness, deafness...) are not pain+dependent


I'm about to turn 55 and I have lived with near-constant pain since I was 18. You do get used to it. Growing older isn't bad at all. In fact, so far it is quite pleasant. I don't care about most of the things I thought was essential when I was younger (they weren't essential after all) But I don't try to explain this to younger people. They just cannot understand, nor are they supposed to. Learning this is a part of being alive and it naturally comes in its own time. They have other things they need to focus on and experience.

The sad people are those who cannot or will not accept growing older and who fear death. That 7% noted in the article are the ones who become bitter old people.
2012-06-18 01:39:56 PM
2 votes:
I will go swiftly if at any point I become a disabled burden to those around me. If my 'quality of life' consists of drooling in a corner, swaddled in a leaking diaper in an old folks home - it's done. I will end it before I hit that stage.

It's really not a big dealio...I have had a great life, and will continue to do so. I see no desire to hang on to this world with a terrified deathgrip as I rot away into 100% non-functionality. I have already made my peace with my beliefs in the afterlife and feel a whole new adventure will begin there.

I fear the prison of a crippled, expressionless body more than anything pretty much. And it's not really "fear"...it's just that I will not put up with that, or force my loved ones to do so. I'll move on to the next phase, whatever it will be, once things are effectively over here.
2012-06-18 01:35:38 PM
2 votes:
My grandmother is 98, and still lives alone, she is very afraid in the next year or 2 she will not be able to care for herself anymore, she has watched as my Uncle, her son in law, has slipped into dementia and gone to a nursing home, outlived her husband by 40 years, and her greatest fear is not being able to make her own coffee in the morning. I get this.
2012-06-18 01:28:03 PM
2 votes:
My maternal grandmother and uncle both died following battles with strokes and the lingering effects, so my mother was 'glad' when she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. She never smoked, and only lingered 6 months. She was terrified that she might last 5 or more years like her relatives had.

I was told to not make long term plans over 20 years ago, have DNR on all my records, and still worry that I might have a stroke and linger.
2012-06-18 01:20:08 PM
2 votes:

Dr. Whoof: It's not what kills you that you should fear...it's what you can live through.


So true... I'll always remember one particular DI I had in US Army basic training who once told us not to fear dying, ever... He said... "f you're dead, you 'aint gonna know about it anyway, just be scared of the things that you might survive."
2012-06-18 01:18:14 PM
2 votes:

Hack Patooey: My dad, 83, is sliding fast down the Alzheimer's slope, and mom, 82, is having more and more trouble taking care of him. Dad has enough of his facilities left and *knows* he should be in an assisted living facility, but is having trouble accepting it, so it's not an option beyond discussion right now. :/


Ask him if he'd rather be in assisted living or in a nursing home. My 78-year-old dad developed dementia and was in the same situation. We found him a really good assisted living place that he could afford about a year and a half ago, but he wouldn't go. A couple of months ago the neighbor who took him grocery shopping came to get him and found him completely out of it. When the paramedics came he pulled a knife on them and told them to get the fark out of his house, but they basically said 'whatever," got the knife away and got him to the hospital. He was found mentally incompetent, and under Florida law a nursing home had to take him. Looking through his papers one of my sisters found a loaded gun (he had never owned one previously). My brother and I think he was trying to work up the nerve to kill himself. Under the current circumstances I think that might have been best. I'd shoot myself too if I had to go to a nursing home.
2012-06-18 01:17:44 PM
2 votes:
Literally every over-60 person I know, including my parents, seems to be firmly in the "we'll be taking our own way out as soon as the word 'care' comes into play, thank you very much" camp. I'm sure a lot of tunes will be changed when the time comes, but it's a definite generational opinion shift.
2012-06-18 01:10:00 PM
2 votes:
My senior healthcare plan is underwritten by Remington.
2012-06-18 01:07:39 PM
2 votes:
64%? That's so strange. Who wouldn't want to sit around far into ueslessness needing assistance in every aspect of your life and feeling miserable, say compared to choosing your own option when the time is right?
2012-06-18 05:37:00 PM
1 votes:

tudorgurl: I am afraid of watching my mother, who currently is battling lung cancer and lymphoma, decline and suffer. .....


So sorry to hear you're going through this. This is one of my big fears too. Take care.

/also posting (even though I'm almost entirely a lurker) because your post made me tear up, and as I reached for my mouse, I may have accidentally hit the "Funny" button. I think I just highlighted it without clicking, but perhaps it will crack you up to picture your post emotionally reaching out to a clumsy woman in Texas and then making me shout "JESUS CHRIST! JESUS CHRIST! THAT WAS NOT FUNNY! FARK THESE BUTTONS!!"
2012-06-18 04:13:23 PM
1 votes:

howdoibegin: Dr Dreidel: It's as if people want control over the time of their passing, even if it's only the illusion of control.

// my dad had to decide to take both parents off life support
// about 20 years apart, but thank all the gods in Valhalla that his medical teams had their heads on straight about EOL issues

What exactly makes that an illusion of control? If I have the choice of doing A, it's not a choice but rather an illusion if I choose not to do A even if I take steps to pursue choosing it to some degree?


Because, to get the pills in the first place, you need a diagnosis of <6 months to live (IIRC). They're gonna die anyway - the illusion is that death by pills is any different than death by decomposition.

Plus, with so many people getting the script and then not filling it, or getting/filling it and not using it, it seems that most people want the option to die as they choose more than they want to die ASAP. So they have the pills, which are there if needed, but they don't actually have a plan to use them. So it's an illusion that "getting the pills" = "wanting to die" from the get-go. From the NPR story, it seemed that people thought about some abstract future time when the pain would be so bad that they'd grab the bottle. People apparently have more willpower for life than that, and end up dying of "natural causes" before things get that bad.

Ask around to your psychologically-trained friends - people who claim to be suicidal, but have no plan (abstract or concrete) for the means, are more than likely seeking attention or (not so) subtly calling out for help. That's not to say you shouldn't get them help ASAP - you absolutely should - but people with plans are far more scary than people without.
2012-06-18 04:05:23 PM
1 votes:
how about the people just living with debilitating illnesses? ask any person of any age what they fear and i'm sure living in pain and dependence would be #1, or very close to it.

my dad died when he was 47 of ALS. he couldn't do anything for himself. he avoided having a breathing and feeding tube put in for a very long time because those we the two things he could still really do, breathe and enjoy food. he had a computer he could control with his finger tips and when he had it had write things like "every day is hell", until my mom would take it away from him. he died after going to the hospital because he caught a cold. he had finally had a feeding and breathing tube put in. He was miserable every day.

any time i hear of someone with ALS i cringe. it makes me sick to my stomach what my dad went through, and he would have chosen not to go through it if he could.

he may have had a DNR, i'm not sure. it certainly wouldn't surprise me.
2012-06-18 03:14:36 PM
1 votes:

eeyore102: So I just watched this tear-jerking movie in which the protagonist, suffering from terminal cancer, commits suicide by drowning in the water off his favorite beach.

It doesn't sound like the world's best method (in fact it sounds really freaking scary), but it has the one big advantage that you can make it look like an accident. Plus, though it's not instant, it is reasonably fast.

"Well, seems like she went walking and accidentally fell in/got swept away/[insert excuse here]."

I may seriously consider this if I'm ever up against it.


Drug yourself first or get really trashed on booze - drowning sux.
2012-06-18 02:58:28 PM
1 votes:
I'm not worried about death. I'm worried about a long, painful dying process.
2012-06-18 02:38:06 PM
1 votes:

FarkinHostile: I'm 42, and it's the same for me. Always has been.

All the hubbub about assisted suicide is silly. ANYONE can get their hands on enough pharmaceuticals, either legally or illegally, to make a graceful and pain free exit. Just do it and enough with pushing a touchy issue.


The part I worry about is taking too much and puking it up, or not taking enough and ending up with brain damage, putting myself in very situation I hoped to avoid.

I have a feeling the do-it-yourself method is not very graceful or pain free. Our society should treat its terminally Ill better.
2012-06-18 02:29:05 PM
1 votes:

cherrydog: Carn: When I get old, I hope to be able to pick my time. If I happen to be stricken with Alzheimer's or a similar illness, I hope a loved one puts me down.

you'll have to do it yourself, you know

maybe with some assistance

like when i assisted my friend's suicide this winter by helping her drink the second bottle of morphine.


I'm ok with this. Bottle of whiskey, bottle of morphine, maybe some heroin, whatever it takes.
2012-06-18 02:19:35 PM
1 votes:
Get a medical directive legally set up, and give copies to all the kids and doctors. Mine is set up to let me die, drugged to the gills, if my doctor and children (and or spouse) agree that a good quality of life is no longer possible. No heroic measures, no tubes, no machines, no lingering. I am terrified of pain. There have been times in my life I was in such pain that I prayed to die. Pain is my greatest fear, and i will not accept living in pain that cannot be alleviated. Death is far preferable. Fark anybody out there who thinks his/her personal beliefs trump my body. the end.
2012-06-18 02:05:23 PM
1 votes:

tarheel07: rudemix: 64%? That's so strange. Who wouldn't want to sit around far into ueslessness needing assistance in every aspect of your life and feeling miserable, say compared to choosing your own option when the time is right?

Jesus didn't get to choose when he wanted to die, and neither should you.


If Jesus is God, and God is omnipowerful and omniscient, then yes, he did.
2012-06-18 01:52:06 PM
1 votes:
Living in pain and dependence?

img24.imageshack.us

If it were only that simple.
2012-06-18 01:49:11 PM
1 votes:
Physician assisted suicide is legal in Oregon and the Office visit and meds are covered under most insurance plans. IT is called the Oregon Death With Dignity Act. Certain criteria must be met but is has been a good option for the 600 or so people who have used it. With boomers aging those numbers will certainly increase.
2012-06-18 01:47:10 PM
1 votes:
I'm nearly 40 and it's my greatest fear. My job is to take care of everyone else. If that situation became reversed, it would not be pretty. I couldn't stand to be helped and honestly, I don't think they'd be very good at it. Assisted suicide plz.
2012-06-18 01:40:03 PM
1 votes:
I've decided a while ago that I'm not afraid of dying. Like others have pointed out, it's the way you go that could be scary.
2012-06-18 01:37:30 PM
1 votes:
Mom has early-onset Alzheimer's. I'm not really keen on the coming discussions during the holidays.

/Suggested the article on why caffeine might help Alzheimer's.
//Dad said "Great, she'll be forgetful and wired!" Mom LOL'd.
2012-06-18 01:32:13 PM
1 votes:
Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I'm 64 (percent)?

/Bang, bang
2012-06-18 01:31:30 PM
1 votes:

Huck And Molly Ziegler: If Republicans take the wheel for the next 4-8-12 years, you can be assured that's the cliff we're driving over, sanctioned by the state.

"Yeah, gee, sorry about the bad room and incompetent nurses, granny, but you should've used the 'old girl network' while you were in the prime of life 50 years ago to get a good stable job where you could afford to buy long-term care insurance."


Please take that crap to the politics tab. It's getting to the point that someone brings politics into every damn thread on Fark these days.
2012-06-18 01:30:14 PM
1 votes:
I imagine robots were high on the list...

www.scarybot.com
2012-06-18 01:24:12 PM
1 votes:

cptrios: Literally every over-60 person I know, including my parents, seems to be firmly in the "we'll be taking our own way out as soon as the word 'care' comes into play, thank you very much" camp. I'm sure a lot of tunes will be changed when the time comes, but it's a definite generational opinion shift.


THIS
I refuse to be in any kind of vegetative/unable to communicate/painful, lingering death. Seen it too many times. 44 now, thought this way since I was 16 and had to deal with a spinal cord injury to a friend. I don't forsee that changing.

Living will, Power of attorney to a trusted sibling/friend who knows exactly what you want. Make it legal and the doctors will thank you,
2012-06-18 01:19:38 PM
1 votes:
I hear that the old people marched on Washington and demanded a cure for pancakes.

/When I' reaching that age and notice it I will take a trip to Switzerland
//If you know what I mean
2012-06-18 01:17:57 PM
1 votes:
We have a cure for pain.
4.bp.blogspot.com
2012-06-18 01:16:21 PM
1 votes:
My mum is getting closer to near total dependence by the day and I know that her greatest fear is living in total pain and dependence. She's already close to her limit but fortunately has some degree of mobility and relief (though it's getting less and less).

And even though I'm quite young I can already say that I too fear this more than anything else. I don't fear much and although I wouldn't want to die, I'd rather that than the almost endless suffering I see many endure.
2012-06-18 01:11:47 PM
1 votes:
In before all the whiny-assed Gen Xers hoping that Boomers' deaths are as painful as possible.
2012-06-18 01:11:17 PM
1 votes:
hahahahahah joke on mofos...you will all be old, as will I. We'll see how different you feel about dying when you are old.
2012-06-18 01:10:04 PM
1 votes:
My dad, 83, is sliding fast down the Alzheimer's slope, and mom, 82, is having more and more trouble taking care of him. Dad has enough of his facilities left and *knows* he should be in an assisted living facility, but is having trouble accepting it, so it's not an option beyond discussion right now. :/
2012-06-18 12:47:35 PM
1 votes:
Yes, indeed. I keep seeing these leading-up-to-euthanasia headlines.

"You'd prefer death over..."
"You don't need mammograms."
"Don't put any extra effort into preventing prostate cancer."
"Every medication is ineffectual after 60."

Good night.
 
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