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How old do you want to live to...

(98 Posts)
Fastloveinyoureyes Wed 17-Jul-19 23:55:16

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

BolloxtoGender Thu 18-Jul-19 20:08:31

About 75 or earlier if health is failing

RosaWaiting Thu 18-Jul-19 20:23:09


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?

Dogsaresomucheasier Thu 18-Jul-19 20:42:20

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.

SheSnapsThenSheFarts Thu 18-Jul-19 21:24:40

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

LittleMissEngineer Thu 18-Jul-19 21:25:38

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 sad

sheshootssheimplores Thu 18-Jul-19 21:29:00

I’d take another 15 years. Then I’ll happily shuffle off and make way.

BillywigSting Thu 18-Jul-19 21:29:03

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.

Mallowmarshmallow Thu 18-Jul-19 21:31:23

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.

LittleMissEngineer Thu 18-Jul-19 21:37:16

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...

LittleMissEngineer Thu 18-Jul-19 21:40:29

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...

damekindness Thu 18-Jul-19 21:40:31

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

GreekOddess Thu 18-Jul-19 21:45:44

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.

miaCara Thu 18-Jul-19 21:51:09

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.

NotJustACigar Thu 18-Jul-19 21:54:04

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.

dudsville Thu 18-Jul-19 21:57:39

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.

RosaWaiting Thu 18-Jul-19 22:12:02

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.

AhhhHereItGoes Thu 18-Jul-19 22:30:54

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.

scaryteacher Thu 18-Jul-19 22:32:21

Once I don't enjoy chocolate, cats and a good book, then count me out.

Elllicam Thu 18-Jul-19 22:35:35

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.

madcatladyforever Thu 18-Jul-19 22:43:36

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.

Poetryinaction Fri 19-Jul-19 00:11:15

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.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jul-19 19:28:54

* 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.

EbbandTheWanderingHearts Fri 19-Jul-19 21:17:51

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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