Hazards of Longevity

In your quest for a long and happy life, you should consider the matter of what happens when you are over 80.

I say this because I have seen how other people regard the elderly, and it is not a pretty sight.

My mother is back in hospital following a gastric bleed.  It was quite dramatic and she required a transfusion, but is recovering.

Last night, at around 2am, I was asked, very nicely, whether I wanted her to have treatment.

“Yes,” I replied, “I believe she is quite fond of being alive.”

In the last ten years, I have, as many readers will know, lost my father, my uncle, my best friend.  None of them had entirely natural deaths, although in the case of my 89 year old best friend, she was bored.  She said once she had lost interest in TV and was immobile with lung cancer, that she just couldn’t be bothered.  Lung cancer at that age is very depressing for the sufferer.  She went from being able to drive herself around to dying within twelve months.

She did say that she felt that her lung cancer had been caused by repeated x-rays of her chest.  I would agree that the policy of repeatedly x-raying people is not wise, however she had been a keen smoker up to the age of 80.

In the case of my father, he required occasional trips to hospital to have oxygen.  This was enough to have him taken to the local ‘ending’ unit, which thankfully no longer exists, and to be drugged into submission for four months whilst he starved to death.  There was no need for this to have happened, and my request to take him home was ignored.

In the case of my uncle, he was a frighteningly fit man who had the misfortune to suffer from a UTI, from which he recovered well before they transferred him into a freezing cold ward where he immediately got pneumonia and died within a week.

Today, I was informed that my mother would not be getting the same treatment again in the future, because she is 90 and has dementia.  My mother is a very happy lady, as we would all be if we were waited on constantly.

With my economics hat on, yes I can see why the NHS is deciding to off people who have paid tax all their lives, particularly as some people would keep you alive forever even if you didn’t want to be.  With my personal hat on, I am getting a bit fed up being challenged whilst I make my mother’s life as pleasant and easy as possible.

I had an argument with one of the visiting nurses, who complained that I had not complied with her staff in phoning the doctor earlier when I thought she merely had an infection.  This would have been utterly pointless, since she did not have an infection, and the fact she was throwing up blood would not have come to light had I not been closely observing her vomit – she was drinking plums before it started.  No thanks to anyone but me that she is still alive, but as usual I am to be berated for it, and it will be used against me, probably in court given the outlandish lengths people that I do not wish to have in my home seem to be going to in attempting to damage myself and my mother.

So, health food fans, as you pursue your quest for immortality, you must consider how you are going to pay for your medical care after the age of 80, and I imagine this cut-off will be reduced as time goes on.  It is only a matter of time before poison tablets are sold in chemists for the purposes of removing yourself from the world if you aren’t enjoying your branded plastic paradise.  You certainly won’t enjoy the benefits of long term paying into any systems, and you cannot, with the best will in the world, depend on your health remaining perfect, particularly if you have not always eaten perfectly.

So, as you invest in your health, consider investing in that nest egg that you will need for medical care from unwilling professionals.




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