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Bruce Banner

Long term care, the solution.

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Failing that, a living will to say that in the event that you're no longer able to both care and speak for yourself, you reject all interventions to prolong life or prevent something that might well otherwise carry you off. 

Otherwise you're liable to end up in a care home, being stuffed with meds to keep you 'healthy', whipped into hospital for this and that, badgered and pestered to eat and drink when you no longer want to. 

Opting for euthanasia  would in any case be no use in dementia, when so many people can't understand or remember that there's anything wrong with them.  My mother still genuinely thought there was nothing wrong with her when she could no,longer even make herself a cup of tea - her short term memory was  zero. 

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Yes, the nanny state is an enemy, not a friend.

I have a living will but my main worry is, as you say, there is a need to take "action" month's, perhaps years earlier than is really necessary to avoid any possibility of waking up one morning to find "there is nothing wrong with me". One sniff of dementia and I'm out of here!

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Free will to opt out has always been a choice.... A choice few choose to make, nobody should be forced to end anothers life or their own life... Some of the happiest people I have met live in a world of their own... amongst the fairies... generally the stress and cost associated with dementia is with the carers not those being cared for... 😉

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19 hours ago, winkie said:

Free will to opt out has always been a choice.... A choice few choose to make, nobody should be forced to end anothers life or their own life... Some of the happiest people I have met live in a world of their own... amongst the fairies... generally the stress and cost associated with dementia is with the carers not those being cared for... 😉

Yes, it can be extremely stressful for carers, but many people with dementia are endlessly confused, anxious or agitated - often about things they can't even name. Or they endlessly fret that they need to go 'home' even though they're in the home they've lived in for decades. Or they become frightened of their own spouse, since they don't recognise  this 'stranger' in the house - even though they may have been happily married for 40 odd years. This was the case with a friend's neighbour very recently. 

And I'm still haunted by the poor lady of 80 odd in my mother's care home, crying and inconsolably distressed for hours, because she needed to get home to her mother, who'd be so worried about her, since she wouldn't  know where she was.  The carers were extremely kind, but nothing could comfort her. Such cases are not remotely unusual. .  It's a common misconception that people with dementia are often happy in their own world. 

During my mother's nearly 8 years in her care home there was only ever one who invariably seemed perfectly contented  - an old lady who happily told me just about every time I went that her mum and dad and gran and granddad were coming soon, and they were all going to the seaside together.  She was permanently back in some sunlit childhood idyll - if only it could be the same for all of them. 

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Different strokes for different folks.

It's a very personal thing and we should be allowed to make our own decision. My wife, for instance, thinks that human life is sacred and wants her life to be extended for as long as possible, regardless of whatever condition she may find herself in, which is her absolute right. Personally, I can't think of anything worse than being kept alive if I am no longer able to care for myself.

 

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6 minutes ago, Bruce Banner said:

Different strokes for different folks.

It's a very personal thing and we should be allowed to make our own decision. My wife, for instance, thinks that human life is sacred and wants her life to be extended for as long as possible, regardless of whatever condition she may find herself in, which is her absolute right. Personally, I can't think of anything worse than being kept alive if I am no longer able to care for myself.

I feel the same way now, although if I ended up in that position and was still able to think I rather suspect self preservation instincts would still be there making me want to stay alive.

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Just now, Riedquat said:

I feel the same way now, although if I ended up in that position and was still able to think I rather suspect self preservation instincts would still be there making me want to stay alive.

In which case, unless you were unable to communicate, you would be able to change your mind.

 

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36 minutes ago, Bruce Banner said:

Different strokes for different folks.

It's a very personal thing and we should be allowed to make our own decision. My wife, for instance, thinks that human life is sacred and wants her life to be extended for as long as possible, regardless of whatever condition she may find herself in, which is her absolute right. Personally, I can't think of anything worse than being kept alive if I am no longer able to care for myself.

 

I read just the other day of an 80+ year old with advanced dementia, constantly screaming and distressed, who has recently been 'in and out of hospital' with heart failure.  

Why on earth, in such a.case, can the heart not simply be allowed to fail?  WTF is the point??  But you're just not allowed to say such things publicly, let alone to mention the ludicrous waste of NHS resources. 

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1 hour ago, Bruce Banner said:

It's a very personal thing and we should be allowed to make our own decision. My wife, for instance, thinks that human life is sacred and wants her life to be extended for as long as possible, regardless of whatever condition she may find herself in

If she believes life is sacred, then surely it is best left up to God to determine when it ends? On this basis treatment would be withdrawn to allow the sacred nature of life to take its course.

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3 minutes ago, Errol said:

If she believes life is sacred, then surely it is best left up to God to determine when it ends? On this basis treatment would be withdrawn to allow the sacred nature of life to take its course.

Sacred was the wrong word. Leaving God out of it, she thinks that life should always be extended if possible, which is going to be a problem for her if she ever comes up against my living will. Such is life, or death.

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I saw an elderly woman with cancer in an Oncology clinic who was blind and accompanied by her middle age daughter. The lady didn't seem to know what was going on. It was a proceedure to inject a coloured dye into ger breast before surgery.

The daughter spoke to the staff and told her mother what to do like ordering a small child. She was so bewildered i wondered if she had Alzheimer's.  There was no way that  she was giving any kind if informed consent about what was happening to her. 

This made me so sad. 

 

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On 01/09/2018 at 10:09, Mrs Bear said:

Failing that, a living will to say that in the event that you're no longer able to both care and speak for yourself, you reject all interventions to prolong life or prevent something that might well otherwise carry you off. 

I have an advance directive.  It states that if I'm ever in a condition where I don't have the capacity to communicate my wishes and I have no prospect of my condition improving to the point where I can live an independent life then I withhold consent for any therapeutic interventions.  This still allows palliative interventions.

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15 hours ago, Will! said:

I have an advance directive.  It states that if I'm ever in a condition where I don't have the capacity to communicate my wishes and I have no prospect of my condition improving to the point where I can live an independent life then I withhold consent for any therapeutic interventions.  This still allows palliative interventions.

Personally, I would change "no prospect" to "little prospect", or similar, to be on the safe side.

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On ‎31‎/‎08‎/‎2018 at 09:06, Bruce Banner said:

The answer is simple.... allow those of us who would like to opt out, to do so.


Does it matter whether it's allowed or not? If you assist someone's suicide, how likely are you to get caught?

 

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15 hours ago, Bruce Banner said:

Very likely, murder is a serious crime.

Why should murder be suspected? I expect if it looks like murder an investigation is quite likely to reveal the truth. But wouldn't there be quite a lot causes of death which wouldn't look suspicious?

Is there really much of an investigation of the causes of death normally when an elderly person dies?

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2 hours ago, Kosmin said:

Why should murder be suspected? I expect if it looks like murder an investigation is quite likely to reveal the truth. But wouldn't there be quite a lot causes of death which wouldn't look suspicious?

Is there really much of an investigation of the causes of death normally when an elderly person dies?

After the notorious antics of Harold Shipman, I think,procedures have tightened  up a lot.  

My mother was 97 when she died, having had advanced dementia for several years.  But because she'd gone rapidly downhill over a weekend and a locum  rather than her usual,GP had called to see her,  the paperwork had to go to the coroner before they'd issue a death certificate.  So even in that case it wasn't a rubber-stamp job.  

 

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30 minutes ago, Mrs Bear said:

After the notorious antics of Harold Shipman, I think procedures have tightened  up a lot.  

My mother was 97 when she died, having had advanced dementia for several years.  But because she'd gone rapidly downhill over a weekend and a locum  rather than her usual GP had called to see her,  the paperwork had to go to the coroner before they'd issue a death certificate.  So even in that case it wasn't a rubber-stamp job.

I imagine there could be cases like this where there is a suspicious of murder (or 'mercy killing' perhaps) by a family member, but there isn't a prosecution because they can't prove which family member did it.

 

On ‎03‎/‎09‎/‎2018 at 10:58, Mrs Bear said:

I read just the other day of an 80+ year old with advanced dementia, constantly screaming and distressed, who has recently been 'in and out of hospital' with heart failure.  

Why on earth, in such a case, can the heart not simply be allowed to fail?  WTF is the point??  But you're just not allowed to say such things publicly, let alone to mention the ludicrous waste of NHS resources. 

I don't think you have to say it in public. You simply don't call the ambulance the next time the heart fails. Obviously easy if the person is in their own home and perhaps not so easy if they live in a care/nursing home. But even then, surely some people just die of heart failure and go unnoticed for a few hours.

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1 hour ago, Kosmin said:

I know for a fact that it can be and is investigated. I was questioned by the police following the death of my father because the incompetent GP thought that he should have lasted a few months longer and asked the police to investigate as he suspected an assisted suicide. The subsequent post mortem proved that the GP was wrong, but had I helped in that way I might have spent years behind bars. Believe me, it's not worth the risk and I would never ask anyone to do it for me.

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On 08/09/2018 at 21:38, Bruce Banner said:

I know for a fact that it can be and is investigated. I was questioned by the police following the death of my father because the incompetent GP thought that he should have lasted a few months longer and asked the police to investigate as he suspected an assisted suicide. The subsequent post mortem proved that the GP was wrong, but had I helped in that way I might have spent years behind bars. Believe me, it's not worth the risk and I would never ask anyone to do it for me.

I should add that the police were great, very helpful and supportive.

Three CID, led by an inspector, turned up at the door. It took them all of five minutes to ascertain that the GP was an idiot and they stayed for over an hour chatting and advising what best to do about it, seeing as the GP had blocked the arranged funeral.

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  • 142 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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