Aug 7, 2011

Alzheimer's, Assisted Suicide or Assisted Life

To die at home with dignity

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I just finished reading an article on the Huffington Post entitled, How Would the Rainforest Handle Alzheimer's Disease?

Now that I am here on my own blog I can say what I really think. That was one of the most idiotic articles I ever read on the issue of Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's care, and life.

The article rambles around all over the place until you reach the end. Then pop goes the weasel. The article is about the option to commit an "assisted suicide".

The author, April L. Bogle writes,
At the very least, we should allow people to determine -- when they are still of sound mind and body -- what they would like to do when they reach the point of no return, either mentally or physically. This "Enhanced Advanced Directive" would be legal for health care providers to follow, even if it calls for assisted suicide.

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I put my own comment in under the article and it would have been longer and better written, but they have a word limit for anyone that wants to comment. We don't do that here.

You can follow the link to the article and read my comment.

Just yesterday, I had a conversation with a wonderful woman in Atlanta that cared for her husband who lived with Alzheimer's until his death. She had many positive things to say about the experience and how the experience changed her life in some way. For the better.

It reminded me, once again, that Alzheimer's caregiver is a very high station in life. You get the call. You accept, You learn a lot about yourself. Maybe you gain a better understanding of what it is to live your life. No matter what, you get to decide.

I have no doubt in my mind that at some point in the future persons living with Alzheimer's will have the legal right to die by ending their life. Its not for me to decide how anyone should live or die though.

Why do I think this is likely to happen? Why do I believe that those living with Alzheimer's will get the option to have themselves killed?

The first big and simple reason is money. It is going to cost more than the country is going to be willing to pay to care for the coming tsunami of people living with dementia. Many believe it will bankrupt the country.

The second big and simple reason is because once the public starts to see persons living with dementia living under bridges, sleeping on the sidewalks, and wandering around aimlessly they won't have the stomach for it. So, they will allow a person with dementia to have their life ended for them.

Or maybe, just maybe, we will adpot programs that help familes give the typical person suffering from dementia their last wish.

To die at home with dignity

Don't fool yourself. Sooner or later we will all have to decide.

More Insight and Advice for Caregivers

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,800 articles with more than 602,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: The Experts’ Guide to the Best Diag­no­sis and Treat­ment for Mem­ory Prob­lems
The 36-Hour Day A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room