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If you were diagnosed with Alzheimer's...

 
 
Mame
 
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 10:22 am
what would you do to prepare for the rest of your life and ultimate demise?

I volunteered in a nursing home for 7 years. 60 of the residents had some form of dementia; the others were aged, needing some form of assistance. I watched the decline of those with dementia, and saw their families interact with them over time. It's very sad. Much like the man in shewolfnm's photo post, they eventually forget everything, including their own name and anything about their life. They can't even communicate after a certain point. They just lie there in their chair and drool. What is their quality of life? It's not for me to decide that for them, but if I were diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I wouldn't want to live that way.

Perhaps because of what I witnessed, I have a definite plan that would prevent my family from watching me progress through this horrible affliction.

Have you given this any thought? Made any decisions about what you'd do?



 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 10:27 am
@Mame,
If I were diagnosed with Alzheimers, I would tell Lady Diane where the bullets are for my rifle.
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 10:33 am
Do you mean that you want the Lady Diane to shoot you if you have alzheimers?
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 10:42 am
@dyslexia,
The problem is that by the time you get the diagnosis, you've forgotten where the bullets are, and don't remember what a rifle is for. Otherwise, do it yourself.
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 10:47 am
@Mame,
mame wrote :

Quote:
Perhaps because of what I witnessed, I have a definite plan that would prevent my family from watching me progress through this horrible affliction.


since we are not youngsters anymore , we have some members of family and friends afflicted with alzheimer's .
but i'm not sure what one can do to "prevent my family from watching me progress through this horrible affliction. " - short of deciding to end one's own life .
imo it's very difficult to distinguish between simply "getting on in age" and the onset of alzheimer's - even medical professionals to not find it easy to detect it early .

btw did you know that people in the early stages of "diagnosed" alzheimer's are still allowed to drive a car ?
i recently read a medical study about it and was quite surprised .

aside from having written final instructions not to use "extreme measures" to keep us alive in case of severe illness , we have not considered anything else .

there was a rather famous case in the british royal family , were an older couple - relatives of the queen or prince philip - decided some years ago to end their own lifes before they become too frail to fully enjoy life .
i think it happened sometime in the 1970's - but can't remember the details .

i remember one good friend of ours who become" forgetful" but kept living a pretty happy life . even in the final stages of alzheimer's she was cheerful , happy to see us and recognized us by name . her greatest joy was singing old german songs with us when we visited with her in the home .
she seemed to be the exception , since many other patients simply "seemed" to have no life left in them but still stayed alive .
hbg


0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 11:00 am
@roger,
roger :

your co-ordination would likely not be good enough to shoot yourself once diagnosed with alzheimer's .
the choice would of course be to do it early on - like today or tomorrow .
one could hardly expect some else to deliver the "coup de grace" .
hbg
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 11:31 am
We have old people here, some of whom develope alzheimer's. I have to watch as they deteriorate, and nothing for me to do to help. A few months ago I had to put a lock on a door to keep a man I have known for five years from getting outside on his own. He would otherwise get lost. Last week the couple moved to a nursing home. I don't know which of any them would prefer to end it. Most of them probably progress beyond the point where they could consider options before they realize it. Would I end my life before it got to that point? I don't know what I would do.
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 11:48 am
@edgarblythe,
edgar wrote :

Quote:
Most of them probably progress beyond the point where they could consider options before they realize it. Would I end my life before it got to that point? I don't know what I would do.


yes , that's the way it will be for most of us , edgar .
hbg
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 01:08 pm
@hamburger,
You could be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, in which case you'd still have a lot of lucid moments. It's a progressive disease, not instantaneous. Hopefully, you'd still have TIME to plan.

The thing is, that if you suspect you're getting it, discuss your plan with a friend or family member whom you trust to carry out your plan.
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 01:59 pm
@Mame,
mame :

as i wrote earlier , some people with "early" stage alzheimer's are even permitted to drive .
the people i knew that were aware of the onset of alzheimer's were not ready to throw in the towel at that stage . one of them was a strong swimmer and kept coming to the pool with her husband regularly ... until she moved into a home ... but even there she was not a vegetable . her husband would pick her up regularly to take her for a drive or a walk . they still went to a restaurant once a week until shorthly before she died . she was certainly an exception .
i wonder if most of us don't think "i am exception" ?

(looking at the "gun topic" there are some people on a2k that say : " my mother/grandmother is 80 or 90 - they are sharper than i am - i know i'll ALWAYS be able to handle a gun safely ! ". )

and a few "lucid moments" may not be enough to carry out what you had planned - when you were completely lucid .
hbg


0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 02:01 pm
I would have to face a very grim situation to contemplate suicide.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 02:03 pm
My father had early onset alzheimer's.

Even in his lucid moments he never asked us to kill him. I imagine he didn't want to think of us spending our lives in prison or going through a murder trial.

Because he was so young he was still pretty healthy and strong and there were many things that he did enjoy. I think it was a lot harder on all of us than it was on him.

I'm glad he didn't decide to "spare" us watching him forget us.

That said, I do believe people should have some control over their death and I am proud that I live in the only state enlightened enough to do something to allow people to have some control over their death.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 06:58 pm
I'd want to kill myself.

Thiung is finding a good and certain and painless way!!!

Though...often people with the mean do not do it...and then it is too late.

I think, too, that there is a period where one's quality of life is not too bad...and there are advances being made with treatment....so...
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 07:07 pm
i guess the trouble with pity may be is that we look and judge from outside...but of course we have no clue how it is inside... i guess it might be a wrong perspective, wrong lens to look through - yet we are only able to evaluate by comparing things and we compare to self.

i don't know if i'd want to die. i hope i will never want to die...but again, who knows. if i was desperately frustrated by not being able to think and remember straight - and aware of it- maybe. and maybe not.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 07:23 pm
@dagmaraka,
That's true, too. For all any of us know, by the time we are fairly far along with Alzheimer's, we might very well enjoy being exactly as we are.
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 09:03 pm
I recently read an article which said people were objecting the prospect of gene testing being able to tell you whether you will have Alzheimer's or not because there is not known cure or prevention methods.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 10:21 pm
Modern medical science is such that life extension can surpass quality of life..........this will change over time to a more balanced combination.
0 Replies
 
tenderfoot
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 11:16 pm
@roger,
Yes-- both my wifes parents had Alzheimer's, one recently died, also a bit of my wife died when he did, it was horrific in every way, but at no time was he worried about havening it and fought to survive right till he became a vegetable... her mum is great, hasn't a clue where she is or what or who anyone is -- or what or where things are.We take her out twice a week and she enjoys every min of it, is happy to go back into the nursing home and all the staff love her.. but my wife and I will have to watch her go the same way as her father... not nice.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Apr, 2009 10:13 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:
.............................The thing is, that if you suspect you're getting it, discuss your plan with a friend or family member whom you trust..

Legally, this may not be enough to avoid a trial for manslaughter; read about this court decision:
http://www.exitinternational.net/media/mr19jun08.pdf
Quote:
........manslaughter of Graeme Wylie. Mr Wylie’s partner of 18 years, Shirley Justins, was found guilty............The prosecution did not dispute the fact that Graeme Wylie had, for years, made it clear to those around him that he wanted to die rather than being kept alive with dementia. ..............“This decision means that elderly Australian will now take their lives that bit earlier than would otherwise be the case, simply to protect those they love from this type of prosecution....
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Apr, 2009 12:23 pm
@High Seas,
Oh well, I wasn't planning on moving to Australia anyway.
0 Replies
 
 

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