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Being Mortal
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"It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

Created: 09/01/17

Replies: 12

Posted Sep. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1289

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"It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

Dr. Gawande writes, "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," specifically the loss of physical function and cognitive capacity. In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?


Posted Sep. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 73

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RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

I relate to that fear very much based on what my father experienced at the end of his life. I fear pain most.


Posted Sep. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 99

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RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

I've often said that I don't fear death but, I fear how I might die. None of us want to suffer or have a horrible death. I guess I would want to be as pain-free as possible, yet be as alive and alert as possible.


Posted Sep. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 77

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RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

This book really opened my eyes to the problem. I guess I fear loss- loss of mind foremost and sight and hearing. I think I can bear pain but Id like control of my senses.


Posted Sep. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 26

RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

I agree with Marcia - it's how I might die that scares me. I believe I should, in a perfect world, have some sort of control over that. (I know I have no control over what happens after that!)


Posted Sep. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elise

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 30

RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

I have to say that I just took my mother home from a rehab facility/ nursing home due to back surgery. I was very saddened at dinner by how many elderly women told me they were sick of going from rehab to nursing home to hospital. Every single one wanted to die. How sad.


Posted Sep. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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valeriec

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 19

RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

Yes, I don't fear death so much as the loss of my mental and physical health - the idea of being in a nursing home really scares me.


Bluemotmot
Posted Sep. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marianned

Join Date: 07/02/15

Posts: 24

RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

Dr. Gawande made me realize how much we CAN do to make the final third of our lives more vibrant, and we can start wherever we are right now. As others have said, I fear losing my memory and my ability to care for myself. Having been a migraine sufferer since I was 10, I've experienced frequent pain. I fear that, too, but not as much as winding up in a home where my children are too far away to visit. Another fear is the cost of high-quality nursing care, whether in-home or in a live-in facility. Medicare and Medicaid will not cover that, and we Americans must educate ourselves about what our current healthcare system will not provide us as we age.


Posted Sep. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Gloria

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 24

RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

I fear losing my mind, as my mother, aunt and grandfather all suffered from dementia before they died. I hope that I can make sure that I am in a safe place if that happens to me.


Posted Sep. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 60

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RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

Fear is the not being able to care for ones self and being dependent on others. Hope mine is quick.


Posted Sep. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 275

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RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

I think marianned's concern about the cost of care as we age is a valid one, and one I don't think the author addresses as much as he may have. The people he spoke with largely had options. What do older people in poor health with no money do? I think their only option may be lower quality nursing home. That's one of the things I fear.

I don't think I'm that concerned about pain, because hospice seems to have gotten a good handle on pain management.

I do worry about physical failings - losing my mobility, eyesight... and especially my hearing! Funny, I think I'm in the minority when I say I'd rather lost my eyesight than my hearing.


Posted Sep. 16, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolee

Join Date: 09/16/17

Posts: 2

RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

I am a senior and now experiencing the loss of friends and family. I am shocked that many of these intelligent, well educated people seem not to have thought about their inevitable death and completed the legal forms that specify treatments wanted/not wanted, who would make decisions if they are unable to, etc. It is difficult to take these steps, but vital to do it beforehand, both for oneself and one's family.


Posted Sep. 17, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 71

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RE: "It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death," In what ways do you relate to that fear or not? What do you fear most about what happens short of death?

I am just now going through helping my 94 year old father through is final stages. What I fear most is loss of my self, of my humanity and dignity. I am afraid of having a stroke and being aware of all that is around me by unable to communicate.


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