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"A Life Worth Ending" by Michael Wolff
Posted: Monday, May 21, 2012 7:15 PM
Joined: 12/2/2011
Posts: 726

I just read the cover article in New York Magazine called "A Life Worth Ending" by Michael Wolff.  He described so well what a lot of us here are going through.  I recommend googling it.  It's long, but very interesting.
Posted: Monday, May 21, 2012 7:52 PM
Joined: 1/11/2012
Posts: 72

Thank you for pointing us to this article...very well written and completely descriptive of what we are all going through.


I've been struggling for some time with thoughts about whether or not all the vast amount of medical care/tests/pharmaceuticals/surgery, etc for the "very old" is really worth it in terms of quality of life.  I watch my parents, both in in their early 90, struggle daily with the simplest of tasks.  My dad's situation is multiplied many fold by his AD and my mother's situation is complicated by her myriad of medical issues all of which are draining her daily of strength. She probably has 3 to 4 visits a month with various doctors (she comes from the generation that believes doctors can cure anything), most of which end up with another prescription.  Her bathroom looks like a drugstore.  Each medication has side effects that are handled with another prescription.  I don't want to be like that so I work hard now to eat in a healthy way and to exercise daily.  I am not on any medication and intend to stay that way for the remainder of my life.

Posted: Monday, May 21, 2012 8:16 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 149


Honey I just read the article.....Incredibly well written and brave..... 


I  read the comments, out of curiosity more than anything...the majority of them were supportive and thanked the Author for the article...I was pleasantly surprised...although, that was here in the states..on the Daily Mail website in the UK there were several , shall I say unkind responses.... 


We on these boards know the real affect and devastation of Dementia in its various forms..I hope that the bravery of the Author will encourage people to look with open eyes at what they are faced with...and give some sort of peace to those who have walked the path to where it splits off... 


I have kept you in my nightly affirmations my dear.... 

Sending Hugs.... 



Posted: Monday, May 21, 2012 9:29 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097

What a great article!  Thank you for pointing the way.


My genes may just spare me the agony of living an extraordinarily long life.  My father died 2 years ago at 71, mom died at 70.  I'm going to enjoy myself and it wouldn't bother me at all if I didn't make it anywhere near 90.

Still Waters
Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 4:30 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092

Good article. I  think the writer was referring to Euthanasia as the answer but he never mentioned it. Something I have been a strong believer of for a long time. Too bad its illegal.
Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 5:56 AM
Joined: 4/19/2012
Posts: 414

I enjoyed the article as well.


I live in 1 of 2 states that have the "Right to Die" law.


My parents ate right, went to the Y 3 days a week religiously, traveled, social, did puzzles, went to the docs, etc.......


Now they are 93 AML (leukemia) and 95 AD.........for myself, after watching their lives, I don't see the point of being so good, that they are now like this and outlive everyone but their "grown" kids in their 60's. As the author stated the old fashioned way, heart attack..........I'll take that over what my parents have. Just my opinion for my life.

Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 7:37 AM
Joined: 4/29/2012
Posts: 775

Thank you so much for directing me to this article.  Within our family, I feel so alone in my thoughts.  I'm the only one praying for mom's death and hating the calls that tell me "she's doing better."  This article states what I'm feeling so much better than I could.  Many thanks!
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 1:14 AM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 390

Excellent read, preaching to the choir here.



 "The traditional exits, of a sudden heart attack, of dying in one’s sleep, of unreasonably dropping dead in the street, of even a terminal illness, are now exotic ways of going. The longer you live the longer it will take to die. The better you have lived the worse you may die. The healthier you are—through careful diet, diligent exercise, and attentive medical scrutiny—the harder it is to die. Part of the advance in life expectancy is that we have technologically inhibited the ultimate event. We have fought natural causes to almost a draw. If you eliminate smokers, drinkers, other substance abusers, the obese, and the fatally ill, you are left with a rapidly growing demographic segment peculiarly resistant to death’s appointment—though far, far, far from healthy."

Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 5:14 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 78

Thank you so much for sharing this article.  Beautifully written.
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 6:57 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 281

A couple of weeks ago at my Caregivers group, there was an excellent speaker; a geriatric psychologist who was in our age group.  He spoke of the same topic.  Our parents did not have to (generally) take care of their elderly parents while they suffered from dementia, since people died of "natural causes" and did not live as long as they are living today. 


The general consensus was that we would all rather die from natural causes than suffer through dementia due to living to such advanced ages.  This is not "living".



Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:03 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 319

This brings to mind when I was much younger and I visited my great aunt for the last time. She was my ALZ grandma's sister. Here was a woman who had to have a leg amputated because of blood clots was bedridden, and cried every day for the last few years of her life - she was constantly in pain and begged for death. every IV they gave her she would rip out, she would refuse all medication. I think my family was hoping that she would have filtered herself in front of children, but she did not. She felt it was important for me to see what happens to the elderly and how modern medicine forces them to suffer. 
What I remember of that visit: She cried to me that they were kinder to animals than to people, for no one would ease her suffering and put her out of her misery, and her only crime was that she was not born a dog as a dog in her condition would have been put down. Because she is human, she is forced to wait for death while being kept alive with shots and medicine, and when she refuses those things they force her anyway. She cursed every nurse and doctor that cared for her and begged us to kill her and prayed every night for the angels to take her away. 
She lingered for about a year after that visit - totally cognisant and aware but her body was gone. 

Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:04 PM
Joined: 4/29/2012
Posts: 775

Yes, our parents did not have to go through this.  I often think of my parents's 60s.  They both retired at 62 and their parents had been dead for years.  They spent their 60s traveling, having fun with grandkids, and enjoying a slower pace.  I turned 60 last October and not a day goes by I don't deal with a parent issue.  And since mom is one of those "dwindlers" described in the article, I expect this to be my life for at least most of my 60s.
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