Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dying with dignity with dementia

: "Choosing when to go is a common conversation for baby boomers as we move into our final decades. I’m always quick to say that I never want to move to a nursing home, and will take steps to end my life at a time of my choosing should I ever find it not worth living. Such decisions seem relatively uncomplicated when I contemplate being given a terminal diagnosis late in life or being told that I have a disease like motor neurone disease [ALS].

But many of us will not be given such a diagnosis. Dad slipped into increasingly obvious dementia over ten or so years. It’s hard to know what he perceived about his decline. He never talked about ending his life. He had many long hours of joy in the years he lived with his deterioration. He certainly died with dignity, but it could have easily been different.

The gradual but very unpredictable realities of cognitive decline are one of the most challenging that anyone open to ending their own life will face."

Dying with dignity with dementia

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