Reality of Longer Lives

by BHOLLAND
(Northern CA)

I believe in humanitarian efforts so much that I have been a caregiver all my life for others. Now that my elderly mother lives with me, though, I've come to wonder why our medical community has done so much to extend lives beyond their usefulness.


The only point I can see is that it pertains to scientific issues, challenges and success rates.

Somewhere in that progressive effort, the human element has been ignored.

There is an entire generation, now, of senior caregivers helping take care of their elderly parents.

Call me insensitive if you want, but the reality is that elderly people are not all living a life of fulfillment in their last years, and their senior children's health and mental/emotional well being is being slashed in the effort to do what we think is right.

My mother is 93 and lives with me. I am 66. How much of ME will be left by the time her life is over? Will I even have the level of health and mental status to do things that I always wanted to enjoy in my "senior" days? I wonder about this every day.

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Time to stop preaching & start loving each other ?
by: Anonymous

I'm taking care of my disabled (physical& mental) brother and mother (physical & dementia). I have been progressively taking on more over last 8 years. I also work.

One brother is dead and the other lives states away and only phones me maybe 10 times a year. He hasn't visited in years. My son actually moved across country without telling me.

If not for my husband, I wonder if I would be alive. The pain of being neglected and abandoned as I try to single handedly uphold my family members is sooo great.

Yes, I have prayed for my mother, brother, and 97 year old mother in law to die. Yes, I have prayed to die myself. One day I had a pain in my chest and I became very happy thinking it might be over soon.

I do believe in life after death. That's why its ok for me that we die. I tell God that he made me and them, if he wants me to have more love, than he's got to send more love through me because I have been scraping the bottom for a long time.

I send love to all those suffering. We don't need the judgment of the world 7 each others judgment. My mother has been mentally unbalanced all her life.

She neglected and abused us all, and I started trying to care for her emotional needs, putting my own aside when I was a small child. I know that I'm not alone in this regard. Please, we are all just trying to do the best we can. More love is needed, not more judgment.

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Mortality and the elderly
by: Bonnie

Thank you for that last comment about the will to live. For one thing, you didn't admonish me for feeling as I do.

For more than that, you pointed out the reality of this entire dilemma, which is that the elderly are only struggling to continue living and that they aren't really able to consider the impact of their need for caregiving on the person's supplying that care.

It brought me back to something my therapist told me once ... "This isn't about you. It's about your mother's need for help. Her need is greater than yours. Care taking is not easy, fun or fair, but that's the reality and coming to terms with it isn't a simple task."

That's why this site is becoming so valuable to me - I'm able to express my angst and frustration with others who can empathize and give me encouragement without admonishing me for not having enough "faith".

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Being Mortal
by: Anonymous

When there's no way of knowing how long we'll live and we imagine that we have much more time than we actually do, our every impulse is to fight. The fact that we may be shortening or worsening the time we have left hardly seems to register.

It's true that people are living longer and right now there are more 85 year olds than there are 15 year olds.

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Well done my good and faithful child
by: Anonymous

I am a strong believer that our feeling are our feelings, they are not right or wrong - it is what we do with these feeling that makes the difference. So I can "respect" your feelings, but I myself would never advocate "death with dignity" so I can have a more fulfilling life.

There are many lives that one can equate to an unfulfilled life - take a look at the the severely handicap child - should the medical field prolong their lives? - family members certainly have a lifetime of their mental and emotional health being slashed.

I have always admired Mother Teresa, and I think of her sacrifice as she respected the sanctity of life and believed that it was God who was present in the opening act and it is God who is present in the final act, as it is He who wrote the play. Furthermore, there are many people (once again) - take a look at what is going on on the other side of the world, they do not feel like our lives are worth anything and they are doing something about it for the sake of meaning and fulfillment in their lives.

Again, take abortion, people have abortions so they can have a more meaningful and fulfilling life. I am saying all this to say, where do we draw the line?

I get the feeling from your background that you are saddened and that is is difficult for you to see your mother in this state and I understand that these are your "thoughts".

But, when all is said and done, I want God to say to me, "Well done my good and faithful child".

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