Nursing Homes
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25-12-2013, 12:16 AM
Nursing Homes
I find nursing homes to be terribly depressing. They are death row. New people arrive. Long time residents are suddenly gone. No one's having a good time. Over the past decade or so I've been exposed to several experiences of older loved ones in nursing homes.

I don't ever want to be in a nursing home. Hopefully I'll die before it happens.

Suicide seems to be the only alternative. I'm not talking about the act of a mentally deranged person. I'm not even talking about so-called "death with dignity." I'm talking about facing the inevitable fact that, if you live long enough, life will be cease to be a joy and will become a painful burden. Plan accordingly.

Right now in the United States there seems to be only one legal way to commit suicide: the "do not resuscitate" order. There's also the "living will" where you leave instructions to pull the plug if you are brain dead, but that's not really suicide.

To guard against the possibility that such a decision might be made because I am mentally incompetent I'm working on a list of events that would need to be met before I terminate myself. A list of things whose inevitable outcome is consignment to a nursing home. I need to do some research there. (A diagnosis of Alzheimer's would be one but my family does not have a history of that.) Drawing up such a list twenty to thirty years before the fact would insure that the act is not rash.

I did not intend for this to be political but it seems to me that self euthanasia by a non-psychotic person for good reasons should be a basic human right. Why should society have the right to keep you alive against your will when you are helpless, in pain, drugged and unable to do anything?

I realize that this post is not well written. Sorry for the rant.

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25-12-2013, 01:04 AM
RE: Nursing Homes
There are degrees of a do not resuscitate. order. People rarely pick a full on DNR unless they have health issues.

More important tho, in my opinion is a POA. In the event you can't speak for youself you can designate someone to speak for you.

Regardless of what you decide, if you don't designate someone, the decision might be left to someone with their own agenda.

In any event, I hope it's a very, very lomg time before you ever need to worry about it.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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25-12-2013, 04:34 AM
RE: Nursing Homes
(25-12-2013 12:16 AM)f stop Wrote:  I find nursing homes to be terribly depressing. They are death row. New people arrive. Long time residents are suddenly gone. No one's having a good time. Over the past decade or so I've been exposed to several experiences of older loved ones in nursing homes.

I don't ever want to be in a nursing home. Hopefully I'll die before it happens.

Suicide seems to be the only alternative. I'm not talking about the act of a mentally deranged person. I'm not even talking about so-called "death with dignity." I'm talking about facing the inevitable fact that, if you live long enough, life will be cease to be a joy and will become a painful burden. Plan accordingly.

Right now in the United States there seems to be only one legal way to commit suicide: the "do not resuscitate" order. There's also the "living will" where you leave instructions to pull the plug if you are brain dead, but that's not really suicide.

To guard against the possibility that such a decision might be made because I am mentally incompetent I'm working on a list of events that would need to be met before I terminate myself. A list of things whose inevitable outcome is consignment to a nursing home. I need to do some research there. (A diagnosis of Alzheimer's would be one but my family does not have a history of that.) Drawing up such a list twenty to thirty years before the fact would insure that the act is not rash.

I did not intend for this to be political but it seems to me that self euthanasia by a non-psychotic person for good reasons should be a basic human right. Why should society have the right to keep you alive against your will when you are helpless, in pain, drugged and unable to do anything?

I realize that this post is not well written. Sorry for the rant.

I decided to head for the exit before I became helplessly dependent on other people long ago, when I was in my thirties.

I had an aunt who had early onset Alzheimer's and spent over 30 years in an institution, in bed, unable to move a muscle except for blinking and producing tears. She was unable to communicate and just lay there, kept alive by machines.

That is an extreme case, but even a more mellow outcome, where I simply could not care for myself without assistance, would be intolerable to me. It would mean the loss of all freedom, it would only get worse, and it would end up being a situation where escape becomes impossible. Not to mention the frequent physical and mental abuse many seniors have to endure in such situations. It would be my worst nightmare, and I don't intend to let it happen.

You really can't draw up legal documents that long in advance, laws change.

But you can make a plan, and I have done that decades ago. The tricky part is deciding on the appropriate timing. If you let it, the system will swallow you.

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25-12-2013, 01:25 PM
RE: Nursing Homes
(25-12-2013 04:34 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(25-12-2013 12:16 AM)f stop Wrote:  Suicide seems to be the only alternative. I'm not talking about the act of a mentally deranged person. I'm not even talking about so-called "death with dignity." I'm talking about facing the inevitable fact that, if you live long enough, life will be cease to be a joy and will become a painful burden. Plan accordingly.

I decided to head for the exit before I became helplessly dependent on other people long ago, when I was in my thirties.

I assembled my "go bag" over 3 decades ago while still in my late teens. I used to stare at it a few times a year just to clear my head and focus my mind. Now just knowing I have it is enough and I only stare at it a couple times a decade and it's mostly just to check on the pressure level. I find just having it to be very empowering.

(25-12-2013 12:16 AM)f stop Wrote:  Right now in the United States there seems to be only one legal way to commit suicide: the "do not resuscitate" order.

The legality of it is pretty much irrelevant dontcha think?

(25-12-2013 12:16 AM)f stop Wrote:  I find nursing homes to be terribly depressing. They are death row.

Hospices are worse. That's where you really go to die. I have a dear friend a year younger than me (50 yo) who has AIDS and was in a hospice for several years who just refused to die. Each time I went to visit him thought I was looking at a dying man. His weight dropped to 85 lbs. I was looking at a living cadaver. But dude just refused to die. Eventually they had to kick him out when the meds worked and he was back up to 140 lbs. Thanks to technology, miracles do happen. Not very often but often enough in my friend's case.

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25-12-2013, 09:15 PM
RE: Nursing Homes
A local fellow waited for -30* temps, walked outside with a blanket and bottle of booze, and was found a few days later.
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26-12-2013, 01:09 AM
RE: Nursing Homes
(25-12-2013 01:25 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(25-12-2013 12:16 AM)f stop Wrote:  Right now in the United States there seems to be only one legal way to commit suicide: the "do not resuscitate" order.

The legality of it is pretty much irrelevant dontcha think?

If you act alone and are successful then yes. But if you try it alone and fail then you are automatically considered bonkers and put on suicide watch.

If you want to enjoy life as long as possible then you probably be somewhat debilitated when you make your decision. If you enlist someone to assist you they will probably be discovered and charged with homicide. I don't want to put that on any loved one who might help me.

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26-12-2013, 02:08 AM
RE: Nursing Homes
(25-12-2013 12:16 AM)f stop Wrote:  Why should society have the right to keep you alive against your will when you are helpless, in pain, drugged and unable to do anything?

A poignant and important question.

It's like that all over the Anglophone world, not just the USA. Given the criminalisation of euthanasia (and even the supply of any text or device which facilitates suicide or assisted suicide in Australia) as well as the so-called war on drugs I can only infer that we don't completely own our own bodies and that the state owns them.

In the state in which I live suicide was decriminalised only ~25 years ago. If your attempt failed not only would you be deemed mentally ill but you could also be criminally prosecuted.

Another concern is that in Australia there have been many reports of residents in nursing homes being physically abused and neglected.

I think the essence of the problem is that current medical practice and technology can prolong life but without preventing decrepitude. So the quality of those additional years is--generally speaking--very low. This is a good example of where a re-orientation towards promoting well-being--rather than blindly extending life as if it were an unconditional good--would produce a more humane system of medicine.
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26-12-2013, 02:18 AM
RE: Nursing Homes
Are you talking specifically about nursinghomes? Or also retirementhomes? Because if so:
You think no one that is in a home wants to be there?
Some just have problems taking care of themselves and need a hand.
Just because you had a few bad experiences doesn't mean homes don't bring joy to the lives of others and their families.

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26-12-2013, 06:44 AM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2013 06:47 AM by Dom.)
RE: Nursing Homes
(26-12-2013 02:18 AM)Caveman Wrote:  Are you talking specifically about nursinghomes? Or also retirementhomes? Because if so:
You think no one that is in a home wants to be there?
Some just have problems taking care of themselves and need a hand.
Just because you had a few bad experiences doesn't mean homes don't bring joy to the lives of others and their families.

Who is saying that one should impose one's own will on others?

That is exactly what is wrong with the way things are.

Assisted living is a CHOICE!!!!!

In the US, there are states where you can get professional, medical assistance in suicide if you are terminally ill. There are also organizations that will help you accomplish a successful suicide in any state - they manage to stay within the law - google it long enough and you shall find.

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26-12-2013, 08:15 AM
RE: Nursing Homes
(26-12-2013 02:08 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(25-12-2013 12:16 AM)f stop Wrote:  Why should society have the right to keep you alive against your will when you are helpless, in pain, drugged and unable to do anything?

A poignant and important question.

It's like that all over the Anglophone world, not just the USA. Given the criminalisation of euthanasia (and even the supply of any text or device which facilitates suicide or assisted suicide in Australia) as well as the so-called war on drugs I can only infer that we don't completely own our own bodies and that the state owns them.

In the state in which I live suicide was decriminalised only ~25 years ago. If your attempt failed not only would you be deemed mentally ill but you could also be criminally prosecuted.

Another concern is that in Australia there have been many reports of residents in nursing homes being physically abused and neglected.

I think the essence of the problem is that current medical practice and technology can prolong life but without preventing decrepitude. So the quality of those additional years is--generally speaking--very low. This is a good example of where a re-orientation towards promoting well-being--rather than blindly extending life as if it were an unconditional good--would produce a more humane system of medicine.

Oregon, Vermont, and Washington legalized physician-assisted suicide via legislation
Montana has legal physician-assisted suicide via court ruling

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