How old do you want to live to...(98 Posts)
Disclaimer: I work in a hospital setting which sees an awful lot of elderly people. Before I started working there I would've said 'as long as possible'
Two years down the line...not so much.
I'm sure we all know someone who's 101 and living a fabulous life, but for the majority, 85 and upwards is no bloody fun at all. A slow descent into falling apart, increasing hospital admissions, more and more meds, falls, dementia and then death in some hospital bed because you fell over and hit your head and nobody noticed you were more confused than normal.
I'm going for 75-80. After that I think i'd be happy to shuffle off this mortal coil
I have no desire to 'be kept alive' for a long time.
I want to be able to "live" whilst I am alive, and then I want to go.
Wish humans were offered more choice, and given more dignity.
About 80, assuming reasonable health up until then. Younger if not. My only concern would be DD, as I didn’t have her till 41, and would hate to leave her too young. But then I wouldn’t want to be a drain or a burden to her, either. If euthanasia still isn’t legal here by that age, I would be prepared to go to Switzerland if I were degenerating into an illness that robbed me of quality of life.
85. That's enough for me.
may also have been the age my financial adviser told me I would be when my money would run out
Meant to say, OP, that I totally get where you are coming from, having seen a grandparent suffer crippling pain from arthritis (completely inadequately controlled) and mobility issues, coupled with a slow slide into dementia, for years prior to death at 91. On the other hand, another grandparent lived until 95, in relatively good health until the last 6 months. In the latter circs i’d hang around a bit longer, but it’s so hard to tell how it will go.
65 with cancer, hopefully treatment will be successful, but I wanted at least another 20 years.
My gran made 102 and was fairly cheerful all the way to the end, so I’d like the same.
But I also think Dignitas has the right idea on allowing people to decide when their time has come.
As long as possible but I think I've only got five years or ten at a push
16 more years for me. I think 70 is the right age. My dad got cancer at 72 and suffered terribly until he died at 80. My mother developed Alzheimer’s at 73 and cancer at the same time. She spent the last few years
Not knowing who her family were and having chemo and surgery until she could no longer swallow and died at 80. So if I go just before the illness develops or cut short the time after diagnosis so my family don’t suffer and it’s not prolonged I want to go about 70. I may change my mind if my health remains ok and if I have a focus in my life like grandchildren or maybe a romance lol. I’m not looking forward to spending my retirement alone in my flat unable to get up the stairs without a chair lift.
I am 72 and any time soon would suit me. I certainly don't want to be around in another 5 years.
It all depends. People in my family tend to have massive heart attacks and die young. I'd rather not. Better that though than DH's family who live a long time but have bad and deteriorating mental health.
Maybe 20 years max. I'm well sick of this.
As long as I'm sound of body and mind, I want to go as long as possible still enjoying rollercoasters, sunrises and simple pleasures.
Anywhere north of 85 would suit me. Gives me another 44+ years to enjoy. Granted those years will see the loss of my parents and close family but hopefully those that have come after me will keep me happy and full of life.
It all depends on quality of life really. I have a 90 year old living with me. Not too bad healthwise, but he tells me that outliving your friends and being unable to live independently is not ideal. But he doesn't fancy the alternative which is dying.
I am 77,and sometimes think about,,how long have I got now ha ha.
Various people in my family.have lived until 86 and up to 99 years, but that's nothing to go by really,anything can happen..So not going to worry about it at the moment..
My son,and daughter, in their 40's now,do not like me talking about death.like I am going to live until I am 200 or something ! so I have made my own plans for whenever, and they won't like my plans!
80+ for me....perhaps 85 or so?
DH's parents are in their 70s now and travelling all over the world, they're fitter than me and just did the world's biggest zip line in Costa Rica.
I don't want to have a horrible decline so hoping to stay in reasonable health to 85 or so and then pop my clogs.
When I was young I l always had a feeling I would not see old age and imagined myself dying in my fifties - I wasn't miserable about and didn't dwell on it but just thought it at times. Fifties came and went. I'll be seventy this year and there is nothing wrong with me; a couple of things have gone wrong in recent times but were sorted and I'm OK. However I now do have insight, from first hand experience, into what life can be like for someone who is helpless and it's scary.
I wonder how I will be able to fill the next few years and don't have much enthusiasm. I cannot put an age on the limit to how long I want to live because, frankly, I don't know how I'll feel if and when I get there. It depends how fit and independent I am I suppose but I often find life a bore and feel hopeless. Mid eighties is probably about right.
Sorry I'm a bit gloomy. Woke up a little while ago and feel introspective which happens at times, always has, but I'll be OK later. I just wish I could embrace life, it could be good because I don't have a lot to worry about really. My experience of being in hospital for eight days earlier this year has definitely had a negative psychological effect on me, it was so awful.
My parents are both in their 80s and are for as a fiddle, as were both their sets of parents who all died around 90-92. The decline at the end was swift for all of them though. I would love to carry on this particular family tradition.
Both my parents had a wonderful life, both remained fully independent and active until they were 86 and 89. Both "dropped dead" from aortic aneurysms - Dad was brushing his teeth at the time, and Mum was sitting watching her favorite TV show. Neither of them would have known anything was happening.
I fully intend to maintain the family tradition !
I hope it's until I am no longer healthy and independant.
My DM died age 74 and she was struggling to live independently for several years due to ill health. With this in mind I plan to retire early and enjoy my 60s with a view that health wise it may change at any time.
Totally depends on my health. My grandfather is pushing 80 and fit as a fiddle - lives alone, drives, has many hobbies and holidays.
I don't want to get to the stage where I can't do things for myself so before then.
For as long as I feel healthy and genuinely alive. My partner is a carer and I do not want to end up having my arse wiped and never doing anything useful or fun any more.
I am a care assistant, and as much as i love looking after my elderly clients, even the personal care, i do not want that for myself.
Yes I think it's all about quality of life isn't it. I have one grandparent who lived to 96 but was happy to just sit and never complained, yet my other gp died at 80 but was not enjoying life and his loss of independence so I felt relieved for him that he didn't have to suffer for years, although it was a shame he couldn't remain active for longer. I'd want to go once I become a burden to my family and stopped enjoying life.
My great aunt is 88 and in pretty good health but she feels she's lived too long already. She's been making comments that she'd like to do what her own mother did which was purposely cause her own death by doing what the doctor specifically told her not to do (she had a heart problem).
I'd only like to be around while I'm fit and able. Sadly by the time I get to retire (around 70) I doubt I'll have much time left to enjoy. I'd hate to be pumped full of chemo or have dementia and be hanging around for years after I'd prefer to have passed on.
I am likely to have a lower than average life expectancy as I have Multiple Sclerosis, but as long as possible whilst I remain reasonably ok. Keeping positive.
I used to say 81. Now I'd say as long as my health is good & I can find ways to have fun.
If I were in good health I would like to live to see as much of my sons life as possible, if however, I was in poor health, I would not like to be a burden on him or anyone else so would like to go with dignity before deterioration.
@Rachelover40 I am.only a few years younger than you but want to be around for a while yet. So many things I want to do when I finish work. I worry my partner will just want to sit and watch TV!
Can you take the opportunity to travel if you are well? Even if it's just around the UK on a free bus pass! Lots of places are crying out for volunteers and you might find something you really enjoy.
Nobody in my family in my parents' or grandparents' generations has made it past early 60s with most doing long before their 60s so I'm not expecting to make it to old age. I'll be unprepared for it mentally if it happens. Like most people I would like to live for as long as possible but to die before I need intimate care. I love life and would very happily live forever if I were healthy.
I’ve always planned for 100! I hope I’m healthy till then.
All of you talking about 70’s being enough My mum is 71 and in great health. I hope to have her at least another 15-20 yrs!
Just to add, all 4 of my grandparents lived well into their 80’s. My granny was 92. My great aunt was in great shape to 108.
But my family tends to live healthily. Plenty of exercise and hobbies and growing our own food etc.
my dm is a fab 84, still volunteers, walks, is fit and well.
but some elderly are not so fit, their lives are spent sitting.
Not so good.
I think we need should try not to be afraid of dying.
My grandma is cracking on 90, still sees friends a couple of times a week and does U3A. If I'm like that at her age that would be marvellous!
40. Gives me time to get my kids to teenagers and then I'd like to be off the planet!
Neither of my parents made it to 70 (accident and chronic illness). My GM otoh, was flying off to Tenerife on her own at 87. Even on her death bed two years later she bemoaned the fact she'd 'never got to China'.
30 nursing of nursing has made me think most people are living too long. We're trying to cure everything. Prolong life yes, but not at all costs.
I hope I'm like my GM.
My DF was telling me about a 90 year old woman who kept trying to commit suicide at her care home. Obviously completely ineffective because she was really frail. DF said she was begging the doctors to just let her go. Instead she got a referral to the mental health team and anti depressants.
I never never never want to get to that point
It’s extremely variable. My DH died at 36, whereas his father was still working full time to the age of 90, dying three months after he retired.
Only the individual concerned can decide whether their particular life and state of health is tolerable to them. Personally, I’d hate to be dependent on carers or stuck in a nursing home, but plenty of people do find happiness or reasons to continue in those circumstances.
I think it makes a difference if you have a religious faith, too.
Death is less frightening when you know it’s not the end, and that you will be reunited with all your loved ones in the presence of God.
Without that, I suppose people hang on as long as possible, thinking this life is all they’re going to get.
Op I have had lots of experience with elderly and those stuck in enormous pain, terminally ill, no hope of recovery, in very vulnerable situations with in adequate care.
I'm sure most people would be happy to live as long as possible as long as good health, independent and funds.
It's a travesty we don't help people with full on dementia die, we don't help people with crippling pain die sooner. It's barbaric.
Watching a loved one in agony slowly dying.
Who does that benefit? The family who sit by them, the family who pop in for ten minuets? The overstretched staff who can't do anything or the human, with zero quality of life left and no hope of recovery or anything?
We need legislation for those like me, to have legal document now, to say..
If I become mentally incapacitated to the point I don't recognise my family and need care I choose to die..
I'm sure a couple of totally independent doctors and a solicitor at the time could sign that off!
The thought of being stuck, in pain and totally vulnerable to god knows who wiping my arse in a nursing home terrifies me.
Sorry op, gone slightly off topic but we need to talk more about getting legislation in place to help us die humanly if we need too.
Won’t happen whilst religion still has a place in policy making
When you have worked and done it, seen the reality, seen in action those Co workers who may be marginally too rough, or not caring or whatever... No one in their right minds would want it.
People are oblivious until its too late and they are the vulnerable resident stuck there!!
Maybe everyone should do compulsory care home work.
Legislation is in place in places like Belgium and Netherlands.
My dads side of the family have heart issues and my grandparents died in their 60s, and to be honest I can see my dad going the same. I'd like for that not to happen to me so I'd be happy to make it to 80
My mum is 90. She still has all her marbles( mixes people’s names up sometimes, but she’s always done that) bad eyesight. But she is practically immobile now can’t walk unaided from one side of the room to another, worst part of this is she can’t always get to the toilet quick enough.
I don’t know if I’d like that but all the time she’s ‘with it’ I think she’s ok.
So in answer to the question I think it depends on health rather than age.
As long as my mind and body will let me without major losses to my quality of life.
My Dad’s side of the family never make it through their 60s, and my Mum’s side (particularly the women) consistently make it to their late 90s in good health for their age.
I seem to have inherited more from my DM’s side, so I’m aiming for 100
80 ish I think for me. Don't fancy falling apart mentally or physically. Want to be well up to 80 ish and then have a nice peaceful quick death.
90s I hope. I work with elderly people too. My strategy is to stay fit and active, to stay interested in life and the people round me, to take advantage of activities on offer for older folks to keep me sociable and cheerful.
I hope I stay in reasonable health but that's largely beyond my control so there's no point worrying about it until it happens.
Dementia runs in my family and in my opinion can be a fate worse than death. If I happen to make it to old age and start showing the signs I've asked my husband choke me out ... On the other hand, I have made peace with dying at any age and it makes me appreciate every single day, no matter how mundane.
Most of my my family seem to live till late 80s-early 90s in quite good health, then die quickly with few cases of dementia.
My nonna is 86 and still lives independently and is as sharp as she ever was.
(They mostly live in rural Italy though, I wander if i'll get as lucky as ive been exposed to more pollution and processed foods etc)
Similarly my lovely aunt (dads much older sister) is 90 years old and has just flown to UK from South Africa to spend time with her children who have flown in to UK from all over the world.
Bright as a button, still texting, WhatsApping and FaceTiming - I'd love to be as fabulous as she is at 90.
102 and then die in a freak sky-diving accident <optimist>.
Totally depends on health. I want to go like my seemingly very fit and active dad who died sitting on the terrace in the sun having a coffee, totally without warning. He was 84.
I wasn't fussed on making 25, yet here I am at 58. I am healthy and reasonably fit. Truth is, I'm here so that my daughter has one living parent for a bit longer. Other than that, I don't need to be here anymore. 5 years would suit me, particularly if she finds someone who loves her and whom she loves.
@fussychica I would love to go out like that. Bless your Dad.
I am scared of dying so if I can find a vampire forever sounds good. In reality as long as possible but only if I am healthy enough to enjoy it.
I was thinking about this the other day. I have no DCs so my plan is to retire somewhere between 55 and 60ish (only 10 years to go!), then ideally pop my clogs in a quick and painless fashion by about 75. I think that gives me enough time and funds to enjoy my early retirement without worrying about a penniless frail old age with no family support. Not sure how DH would feel about it though, he's a bit younger than me!
As long as I can get. Plus completely healthy until painless end. Why not wish for the best!
Most members of my family seem to be able to stay reasonably active until their late 80s, so if the same applies to me I have no particular reason to want to go earlier. My parents are 87, still living at home, cooking, looking after their boats, making excursions, reading a lot, gardening, my mother still does a lot of sewing and plays the piano. They have never owned a car, walk everywhere. So far, a very good quality of life.
My grandfather was also active well into his 80s. My great-aunt, at the age of 85 (I think) gave a large dinner party (cooking all the food) to her friends, had a lovely time, heart-attack the next day and went. Sounds pretty ideal.
My father-in-law was mildly disabled since his teens, but was still active into his 90s and died after a short illness. He enjoyed life until the last few days.
Would hate to have to retire early: I'm 55 and feel my career is only just getting going (spent a lot of time as a carer when younger); have so much I want to write before I'm gone.
Until im a burden. I dont want my kids to think that im exactly that.
My grandparents were still really active at 88/89, driving, socialising, even weekly badminton playing!
Then one had a health crisis and the other also deteriorated rapidly. They went from being happy and energetic to longer wanting to be here just like that and the last few years were very difficult for them.
I don't think you can set a time limit, you just can't predict what will happen and when.
I used to think 60 but now I think George Michael age, which I think was 53. In reality my mum needs to go before me though, it would be terrible for her to outlive me.
As long as I’m relatively healthy, can still feed myself, wash myself and wipe my own arse, then I’m happy to shuffle along to whatever age really!
My grandparents (the 3 that are still alive) are all in their mid to late 80’s. Maternal grandfather is fit as a fiddle! He’s never had more than a bout of the flu in his life. He’s pretty much a carer for my Babcia (grandma). She’s a few years younger than him, but has suffered with horrendous arthritis for years - but other than that she’s pretty healthy. The arthritis only really affects her mobility and stops her from doing things she previously enjoyed like cooking and sewing because her hands are quite badly affected
My paternal grandmother is in abysmal shape bless her She was always a very fit, up-and-about kind of woman who appeared younger than she was. But a minor stroke and a couple of pretty serious falls in the last 10 years have really affected her health and happiness - she really does seem pretty miserable with her lot. And honestly I don’t think she will be with us much longer. As awful as it sounds, I don’t think I could handle being so healthy and independent one minute, and then have that so abruptly snatched away like she has.
So hard! Maybe 75 but I have a degenerative health condition so any time before that gets too bad. BUT i'm so scared about leaving my eldest son who has ASD and it keeps me awake at night.
I'm actually quitting nursing at the end of this year, after 30 years in the job. Palliative care provision is so poor that I can't take it anymore. They aggressively treat people who have no quality of life and refuse to allow a natural death. The suffering these poor people experience is awful and I need to walk away.
I'm planning on going between 68-72 depending on how my health and mobility fare. Various reasons mean I'm not destined for a long life, but I don't mind that and I always make the best of what I have.
There are definitely worse things than death.
I haven't given much thought to age but one of my granddads was in near perfect health and totally independent until a heart attack killed him instantly, totally out of the blue, at 89. That's how I'd like to go.
If I'm well and able anything north of 85 would do me.
I hate that people have to die in horrible circumstances sometimes. It would be so nice of we could reach the age we've chosen and have a lovely send off like you're going on a lovely holiday, then just fall asleep for good.
@ineedaknittedhat I totally agree. A peaceful death is much better than a dreadful life.
I'm 50 now, if ds has children when he's say 30 I'll be 65 (big assumption, but I'd love to be a granny!). Would like to see them grow up so at least 85 sounds good, but my mum is 80+ now and very frail/chronically ill so maybe not.
All depends on what my 85, if I even reach it, would look like! Guess I just need to wait and see.
Interesting. The last time my dad was treated for cancer, I felt like apologising to others in the chemo room because it was like watching a dead man propped up in a chair. He was also deemed able to consent to that last treatment which I found shocking. He died three days later. It was ridiculous. I assumed the hospital were scared of being sued for not doing enough or something but my sister said what you have said - that it is policy to aggressively treat people and not accept they are dying?
My mum had dementia for the last twenty years of her life. She had a heart bypass at 70. If I were offered one at the same age I think I’d decline.
70. Watching my parents slow descent into chaos between the ages of 70 and 80 I want out when I'm still able to do stuff for myself, not when I've become a worry and an effort
80-85, but really depends on quality of life.
I really saw my mum’s health deteriorate horribly at 78. A lot of it was lifestyle (a lifetime of smoking had a massive effect) with a few horrible accidents thrown in for good measure. Attitude didn’t help. She died last July at just 80, but the last two years were very sad to see. I wouldn’t want to end my life like that.
I do try to love a very healthy life, so hopefully might face better luck. However, having spent a lot of time around hospitals and nursing homes the past few years... it is horrible to see people’s bodies giving up on them
I’d take another 15 years. Then I’ll happily shuffle off and make way.
I don't want to live past the age where I can wipe my own poo, wash myself and feed myself, and not be in serious pain every day. Going by family history that's about 80 odd. Much past 85 and life is pretty miserable.
Oh my goodness, this thread makes me terribly sad. My mum is about to turn 70 and is at the very centre of my five year old's life. I cannot imagine what his (or my, I love her dearly) life will be like without her. I'd like her to live forever but the thought she might only have 10/15 years left has actually made me cry.
Re my mother (again) and cancer and dying at certain ages, I think that it is easy for us to say NOW when we would want to die, but it is very hard to let go when you get there...
My mother hand lung cancer at 71, breast cancer (unrelated to the lung cancer, but stage 4 - so continuing drug infusions, every 3 weeks, for the rest of her life) at 76/77, wet macular degeneration (loosing a lot of her eyesight, couldn’t drive) at 78, fell and broke her neck in two places (and both wrists and hands) at 79, fell and broke her hip at just over 80, died of pneumonia about two weeks later. During that time she had many hospitalisations for pneumonia/COPD. She also had horrible IBS, bladder problems and fibromyalgia.
I think that she finally “gave up” after the broken hip. Until then she would not have wanted to die. She had a DNR order, by her choosing, but was still very scared. Sadly, when she broke her hip, she HAD to have it operated on and replaced (despite it being unlikely the she would recover and a massive chance of her not surviving the operation): basically a broken hip is not something you can leave (far too painful), unless you can guarantee that the patient will due within a day or two (in which case you dose them up on painkillers and immobilise then). So I consented yo the operation and watched her miserably hang on for two more weeks...
Sorry, I realise that what I have posted is scary. Probably the geriatric equivalent to “traumatic birth stories” on a pregnancy thread.,.
Not everyone has the same problems that my mother did!!! Many live good senior years. HOWEVER I would say: don’t smoke, eat well, stay active, look after your eyes, be very sociable...
My dad said he wanted to be shot by a jealous lover on his 90th birthday...didn't quite make as he popped off six years too early
This thread is making me very sad that so many people want to go at 70😢.
My Dad died at 69 and despite having a chronic illness he still had holidays abroad and was nowhere ready to go! My mum is 82 and still out dances everyone on the dance floor!
Why is everyone wanting to go early? I will plan my retirement finances to go at about 85 because nobody in my family has lived that long so I doubt I will buck my trend. If my children have children at the same age I did I will be 90 before my grandchildren grow up so that would be a good age for me.
Dh's family tend to live longer than mine (into their 90s) and they became older and frailer when they reached around 91-92.
I used to be like a lot of people and not want to die at all. Couldnt imagine dying and leaving it all behind.
But as Ive grown older I come to realise that old age without health is a terrible thing. I cant see the point of life at all costs. I want to be able to climb the stairs, go down the garden path, do my own housework,wipe my own arse.
I read a MN post recently from someone who decided that she would request no treatment for pneumonia as that is what tends to kill older people but they treat it aggressively. So you live but at a lower ebb and might get it again -rinse and repeat.
Or as one older relative has said. Leave me alone with a barbecue from the pound shop and a box of matches and Ill see to it myself.
My grandfather died at 97 and he was pretty happy until a few days before he died. He was an artist and kept up his painting which gave him a reason to live - I think that's key. Also he was able to live at home and have carers who came in a few hours a day to look after him.
If I can have an old age like his I'd take it. Otherwise I want to live until I get too old to stay in my home. I think it's possible to order a suicide kit off the internet to be able to choose the right moment - it's something I've read about anyway and seems a good idea to me.
I don't fear death, but I do fear not being ready. I know a few old folks who were definitely ready, but one who was not. I don't care how old I live, I just hope that I am ready when the time comes. I hope I don't take on supposed life sustaining interventions that actually prolong my suffering.
Greek “Why is everyone wanting to go early? ”
Only three of us on this thread?
My dad wasn’t ready to go but everyone is different.
Like you I'd say 75-80.
If I'm healthy (doubt it!) in my 80s then I'm happy to live in it. A few minor ailments/mobility issues fine but no no to dementia/chronic heart or lung problems etc.
Once I don't enjoy chocolate, cats and a good book, then count me out.
As long as I’m healthy. My grampa is 96 and doing really well, no major issues and enjoys his life. I hope I take after him.
I was a nurse for much too long and my life will probably end in Switzerland when I'm done. I refuse to end up in a nursing home or in adult nappies.
I'm pissed off I can't have eithanasia at home. I feel it's our right to do so and not to have to die in a strange country.
I want a few years after my dh, to myself! And I don't want to live in a failing body or mind. I hope I die happy.
* Why is everyone wanting to go early?*
It's not about going early it's about not spending years being in pain and having no independence.
Not many people live the dream life where they are happy and healthy and then die instantly. A lot of people deteriorate and spend the last years existing rather than living.
Another care worker here. Seeing what some people go through in old age and having no words of comfort to those crying on my shoulder that they just want to die, I think I'd be on the first plane to Switzerland in a lot of scenarios. I also care for lots of people who are living life to the full so am fully aware that old age isn't all doom and gloom.
Not sure what age I'd like to go. My Grandmother was 8 wks off her 100th birthday when she died ( cancer ) and my Great Grandmother was nearly 105. She emigrated to New Zealand aged 99!
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