Want to live forever? Think again
My previous post on Elder Care was universally ignored, except by some family members who weren’t happy that I had posted about my grandmother’s health situation. Considering today’s aging trends, people my age had better start considering where they will be living out their less-than-Golden-Years. Most importantly, who will care for us when we are too old to change our own diapers?
My 98 year old grandfather was born in 1912 and just recently moved to a nursing facility. He had sworn not to leave the house he built, except feet first. While he did manage to leave feet first on several occasions via ambulance, he isn’t going to end his days in his own home. Today he suffers from severe geriatric dementia. The primary reason he was placed in a facility was because of the dementia, but the other benefit was that he wouldn’t be living in a home with steps and other dangers. So after a few weeks in dementia care, he fell and broke his hip last week. They managed to operate on him with only local anesthesia, but now comes the real test. Will he survive a minimum of the six weeks that his movement will be limited. To ensure he doesn’t try to walk on his own, since he is non-compliant, he has had to have his legs restrained.
My 90 year old grandmother is back home, but she also has a hard time moving about without the help of her caretaker. She’s especially unhappy these days as it’s become more and more difficult for her to read, both because of the small fonts and because it’s hard for her to concentrate enough to get through a novel. Lately she’s read biographies of people she knows about, so it’s easier for her to follow.
Science is helping us live longer. But at some point, usually in the 80s, quality of life diminishes severely. I have heard my grandparents say, “it’s no great thing, this getting old bit”. I really see them getting to a place where living just becomes too much effort. They find little joy, even in their great-grandchildren because in many cases, they just don’t have the energy to follow what the little devils are doing or saying. Even looking through old photo albums tends to tire my grandmother.
It’s hard enough trying to find activities to keep kids busy during the summer break, but it’s almost impossible to find any activity for my two surviving grandparents. I used to bring my grandmother books to read, but she finds it too hard to read these days. TV just depresses her.