A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Over the years I have been asked more times than I can count by elderly persons unable to care for themselves if I could give them something so they could die. They didn’t want to live anymore with the everyday suffering of being bedridden and in pain. They didn’t want food pushed into their mouthes before they had finished swallowing any more.Or the pain that comes from large open bedsores that could take fifteen minutes or more to dress.

They didn’t want to lie for hours in wet,stinking nappies. They just wanted to leave this world with dignity.

I couldn’t help them.

It seems that in Switzerland where I live,the cost of caring for the elderly whether in their living accommodation or in a

nursing home will double between now and the year 2030. In that year an estimated 2 million people over the age of 65 will be living here. In 2005 there were only 1,2 million.

The growth of the over 80 year olds has risen enormously. This has had a massive influence on the cost of health care.

A study by the Swiss Health Observatory says the price for care will rise from 7,3 billion francs in 2005 to around 18 billion in 2030.

The rise is of course affected by the prescription of multiple medication for the aged, on average fifteen tablets a day,and performance of complicated operations, excluding emergency orthopaedic procedures on over seventy five year olds. Higher nursing and so called hotel costs add to it.

Ethics play a great part in how we approach the situation at the moment.

Mankind has the right to live ,but when are we going to have the right to die?


Comments on: "I Would Like a Choice" (3)

  1. Oh my.
    Yes this is one we will have to chew on. With these numbers I hope someone is figuring things out. Also seems that geriatric nursing will be of high demand. (By that time the people who you’ve trained will be thinking back to the ‘good old times’.)

    I can’t help remembering the southern Spanish or Italian way. Grandparents live with the family, and there’s always someone taking care of them, the right way, the dignified way. And it’s an attitude thing. It isn’t considered a burden, it’s doing what they did for us when we were growing up. Gosh, imagine if we just dropped kids in hospitals to raised, without stimulation of any kind.

    Trouble is, families nowadays can’t survive on one salary, and taking care of bedridden relatives is a full time activity. (Was tempted to say ‘job’ there but didn’t go down right).

    Question still is how to do you tell the difference between someone having a bad day or a few bad days and saying they want to die and the ones that truly want to and are still capable of determining that. In probably the majority of the cases, it’s simple, but then I’d hate to be wrong. And are we ok to live with this?

    Disturbing but good post.

  2. Hi Spaz,
    The economic situation in the western world will no doubt over the next years bring about drastic changes.Rising unemployment will make caring for the old and sick a little more apealing in the family,especially if the “family carers” are paid a certain amount, as they are in certain countries.
    “How do you tell the difference?” Depending on the situation you usually can after talking about it.Here of course I could inform them of the EXIT organisation if they were really serious.

  3. It would be nice if families could receive allowances or some kind of compensation for caring for elderly relatives at home. A friend of mine has just had to put her mother into a nursing home because she has to work full time and had to hire a carer to look after her mum. The expense was too much. Since moving to the nursing home her Mum has said she wants to die. It is extremely distressing and is definitely an issue that will need to be addressed worldwide within the next decade.

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