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  1. #1
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    Oldest person that you knew personally & their quality of life

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    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015...t-general.html Clearly she seems like a wonderful person at her age because of her attitude.

    The oldest person that I knew face to face was my partner's mother who died at 93 yrs. Up to 89 yrs., she was not bad. She was not by nature a cranky person.

    One of my brothers-in-law's parents are 86 yrs. He finds it ironic that his father along with his friends his age, love to sing in their choir...and they visit nursing homes that they visit at certain times of the year. Of course choir singing, has been medically/psychologically proven to be beneficial to people...
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    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2005
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    My dad died at 89, last September. Up until the last 4 months, he was driving, visiting friends, socializing. His physical status was compromised a bit, but he was never active in sports. His mind was sharp, and he read voraciously. He worked until he was 85 or so. Three out of four of my grandparents lived until 91-92. They all had really good qualities of life. My grandmothers might have had an even better quality of life if they had been active, but one lived independently in her own condo in Florida and died peacefully playing bingo (I know, this was a source of amusement to all of us). She had a boyfriend, who was 15 years younger. My mom's parents lived with my aunt for the last 10 years or so, but the only reason my grandmother was a bit frail was because she didn't move. When my mom would come to visit here, she got my grandmother up and walking. Then, my mom died at a young age, and my aunt was too much of a b**ch to do anything. She hired a home health aide, instead. My grandfather worked up until he had a car accident at age 90 or 91, and he died as a result of all of the anti-inflammatories they were giving him; he had an ulcer. He may have lived even longer, if it weren't for that. My grandfather made more money in the last 20 years of his life, than at any there time. He played football and ran track at BU in the 1920s and always was active. They all were cognitively with it, read, kept up with news until the end. Both of my grandmothers were gorgeous until the day they died.
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  3. #3
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    Jul 2005
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    My moms best friend is 93, she lives here in the town where we moved in FL and up until two weeks ago was doing well. We all went out to lunch and had a fun time, she enjoyed her cocktail and crab sandwich. She had a stroke last Thursday and was moved to hospice yesterday, I will miss her so much.

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  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
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    My first husband's grandmother died a few months after her 100th birthday. Most of her mind was already gone and she was living in a nursing home by the time I met her. I wish I'd had a chance to know her, she was an active and independent woman, very unusual for her time. At least it seemed her physical health was good.

    My FIL died a few weeks short of his 96th birthday. He stayed mentally sharp well into his 90s, though less so in his last 2-3 years. His physical health was reasonably good too, but his last few months were very difficult. Really the poster child for both advance directives and home care reform, not that anyone in the family got the message.




    I have to say: with the exception of my mom, EVERY old person whom I've known well enough to have that sort of conversation with, has told me, "Don't get old." And I discount my mom, just because her level of denial of, well, just about everything, is nothing short of breathtaking. EVERY other one has told me the same thing, in those exact words, including people who present an active, contented face to the world. Those conversations influenced me pretty strongly in some of the decisions I've made and am continuing to make.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 08-12-2015 at 04:47 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
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    I'd say I live by the "don't get old," mantra myself. Maybe it's denial (OK, it most likely is), but I know a decent amount of older, very active people through my cycling groups, so I see what the future can be like. It's not that some of these people haven't had some challenges, but they push through and keep going. Their attitude is different. That is in direct opposition to most of my "regular" friends. I am getting tired of the constant talk of disease, "do you remember?" postings on FB, and the obsession with grandchildren. Oy. I probably sound like a mean old person, but really, I feel like I have more in common with my 30 something kids than some people my age.
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  6. #6
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    Regarding "don't get old" my moms friend was doing well, but she was over this life. She told me many times "I'm ready to go and hope I don't wake up tomorrow". Mostly I think it was loneliness, everyone in her cohort was gone and while she enjoyed her kids and the few young friends she had she was/is tired of the endless physical issues that accompany being in her 90's.

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  7. #7
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    May 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    My moms best friend is 93, she lives here in the town where we moved in FL and up until two weeks ago was doing well. We all went out to lunch and had a fun time, she enjoyed her cocktail and crab sandwich. She had a stroke last Thursday and was moved to hospice yesterday, I will miss her so much.
    The most emotionally rewarding days I’ve spent was with my paternal grandfather the last two weeks of his life. He was at peace with it all and I made sure he had loving feelings and words around him each day until passing on. Just before life left his body I kissed his forehead and whispered it’s time to let go…..

    The experience made me really appreciate those working in hospice care and taught me the importance of helping guide someone out of this life with love.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  8. #8
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    Maybe I'll feel peaceful when it happens, but right now, I would prefer not to die! Im almost 62 and I don't like it one bit. But, just like that song, I hope I die before I get old.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Montreal, QC
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    Close to me was my father in law (my husband's father). He was 89 when he died. Until his triple bypass 3 years earlier, he was still in his home, doing everything by himself (cooking, cleaning and cutting his grass and trimming his cedar edge, driving his car, etc.). He also had to fight treatments for prostate cancer (which he won).

    After his hospital stay (which turned out very bad but he recoupped after a struggle), he went back home for another year doing everything, with some help as we forced him to get a housecleaning person and we helped him with some chores. We talked him into moving into a assisted-living apartment. We sold his home and he kept lots of his furniture so he still felt at home where he was. He had nothing else to do but enjoy life. He still went to the gym (it was light due to his condition), we got him a little motorized cart for his longer walks as he was getting into heart failure (not sure the term in English) but his heart was working harder, also getting some fluids into his lungs.

    But he was still active to almost the end. Although he was on too many pills to control everything, his mind was all there most of the time. But he slept more and it was harder to get him out of this sleep pattern.

    He never "exercised" much, like most of us here. But he was active differently (bowling, light walking, sometimes line dancing) working around the house which can get very physical. He used to be alcoholic (but stopped some 30 years before), never smoked. So overall, nothing major done but some was good genes I supposed.

    But I must admit that towards the end, he fell like he was a burden to us (my husband and I) and even the caregivers. So he only wanted to die and said it was time that we regained our life instead of taking care of him. Yes it took a lot of our energies just to deal with everything in the end but we would do it all over again just to have him with us.

    Like Pax said, most his family and friends were dead. He went to more funerals then weddings...so it must be hard to go through. He had my husband when he was over 40. So even hubby did not have a chance to see his extended family that much as they were dying as he was growing up.

    So I do hope, like most of us, that I get to live a long and healthy life. Sure we'll get some bumps along the way. Just hoping they will not be too high and hard to go through and that will be able to afford all the cares I will need when I get there. Can't depend on kids...as we have none. hihi
    Helene
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  10. #10
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    My efforts to remain reasonably healthy long-term aren't because I dislike aging. Now I just believe that in order for me to minimize difficulties and pain of aging/towards latter years in life, is that I need to be healthy. My recent concussion and rehab., made me realize that although rehab was long enough, my recovery to move around, etc. was made easier because I had been healthy prior to my accident.

    I don't want to flagellate myself for at least not trying at all to be healthy.

    When I was at the intensive care unit last year, where my 85- yr. old father was before he was moved to palliative care and died 4 wks. later, there was signage on his hospital floor all over the place, for patients, to move around to remain healthier. Even if moving around meant just walking the hospital hallways ...

    Most certainly administering heavy doses of chemotherapy on frailer/older folks in their 80's onward, will weaken them and make it very hard for them to be "stronger" later. It's a serious compromise on their immune system.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 08-13-2015 at 06:28 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    there was signage on his hospital floor all over the place, for patients, to move around to remain healthier.
    Ah, Canadian health care ...

    That was one of the biggest problems with my FIL's care. Medicare and his gap coverage would only pay for one home care attendant. MIL, a bit younger but still in her late 80s, there was no way she could give the attendant any help in getting him out of bed and helping him walk, or later, transferring him to a wheelchair. They could have afforded to pay a second attendant out of pocket ... but to bypass insurance rules, they would have had to go outside any agencies and hire privately, they didn't know anyone who could refer them, and they weren't inclined to hire some random person out of the back of an ad circular (for which I don't blame them one little bit). The result was that he only got out of bed twice a week when the PT came, or when DH came the 500 miles to visit. IIRC, once it was clear that he wasn't going to get better, the PT was discontinued too, since most insurance will only pay for therapy to improve someone's condition, not to keep it from deteriorating. It was heart-wrenching to watch him go downhill for the simple fact that no one was available to get him out of bed.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
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    I'm sorry to hear Oak that your FIL was left in that situation.

    Attendant care in Canada is not freely available in that way. It's subsidized for low income patients for certain illnesses. ..if you live in a city where there is such support services. It's contracted private service which ranges from ok to awful...depending on what companies have been contracted by public health care system. My father did have the choice, and my doctor -sister did float that idea..but it was too much for them to wrap their head. So my mother did what she could but in the end, it was better he was in the hospital. Last few wks., of life, his skin was very painful/sensitive to anyone touching him.

    So my siblings (I live 3,000 km. west and did fly twice over a 4 month period to be with my father) took turns spending many hrs. in the same hospital rm. where he was.. by just being there. That is the best situation because there's professional nursing care and physicians immediately available, with the comfort presence of at least 1 family member on any day. Several of my siblings work in different hospitals within a 20 min. walk in downtown Toronto. This is the advantage of having several family members live in the same city as the dying parent...if the adult-children care about their parent.

    People have to realize the psychological and physical strain on your primary family caregiver member if you choose to die at home over a long period of time. This is not something that my mother would have been able to cope with at all since she herself moves slowly, etc. and psychologically for traditional Chinese, they don't deal with death in the greatest way....my personal opinion.

    Of course, depending where one lives, type of health care system, cost and hospital bed/long term care availability, there may be no choice but to be at home.

    It was frustrating for my siblings to see my father try to pull himself out of bed. But he couldn't because of his weakened state.

    Still, the excellent health of my father despite his cancer, was an inspiration to us.... I can't imagine if he had respiratory, heart problems or weight problems on top of his cancer. But he didn't have any of these problems prior nor during his 5-yr. long cancer years.

    So he had very high quality of life with cancer right up to the final year of his life.

    This is what I mean: Do all that you can now and for upcoming decades to look after your health. You still may not be able to avoid certain illnesses, but at least preventable medical disorders won't make your primary illness more complex to treat.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 08-14-2015 at 10:26 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    My moms best friend is 93, she lives here in the town where we moved in FL and up until two weeks ago was doing well. We all went out to lunch and had a fun time, she enjoyed her cocktail and crab sandwich. She had a stroke last Thursday and was moved to hospice yesterday, I will miss her so much.
    I'm sorry to hear that. My mom passed away last year suddenly at 91. The day she died she was ready to go out with friends to one of her many activist causes. One of her passions was peace in the Middle East and cooperation between the cultures. While we're Jewish she had a Muslim Imam AND a Rabbi preside at her memorial.

    While she always complained that she was slowing down, but since she was still sharper and more active than any of us we were glad to be able to keep up. Sure she'd sometimes repeat stories but stayed a sharp as a tack.

    Gardening, raising holy hell with her peace activist friends, solving the outrageously difficult crossword puzzles in The Nation (try them sometime. I can't even get one word), avid reading and some walking kept her mentally and physically fit.

    She'd been diagnosed with a heart aneurysm years ago, one which could go suddenly at any time and that'd be it. Very sudden. And I remember her saying the last time we visited that it's not a bad way to go. Considering the slow decline of many of her peers. Her doctor recommended surgery which could solve the situation but would require at least a year recovery in assisted living.

    With no assurance that she'd be back to living independently she chose to just soldier on.

    She stopped driving but stopped virtually nothing else. Would that we all could do the same.
    Last edited by Trek420; 08-22-2015 at 01:44 PM.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    5
    92, actually sorry, she just turned 93. Up until this year her quality of life was great. She was even still living on her own up until about 2 months ago. However, she started showing progressive signs of dementia and now is forgetting things like what should go in the fridge and what in the cupboard. Or how the dishwasher turns on. And she is forgetting who people are.

    It's very sad to see. But I would say that even though she isn't always cognitively sound, she still has a good quality of life, surrounded with loving family. And other than the dementia, her health is quite good.

 

 

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