Hopeless elders

  1. I spoke with my father in Florida yesterday who brought this story up...he is in his mid 70s and this is the talk of his "community" down there. Amongst his friends (read golf buddies) this is almost considered honorable. I am not sure what his sources are, but my dad said that the wife was bedbound and the husband had gotten to the point where he could no longer care for her...so...


    My dad is of the opinion that there are many seniors in Florida who have no family and no support and because they have relocated to the south, they have no good/ongoing relationships with medical providers to offer them good solutions and options for their health related needs.
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    About tewdles

    Joined: Jul '09; Posts: 4,870; Likes: 8,287
    Specialty: 31 year(s) of experience in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice


  3. by   traumaRUs
    Elder suicide is more common that one believes.
  4. by   itsmejuli
    Hmmm, I live in the Tampa Bay area, I'd say on average there is an elder spousal murder/suicide every 6 weeks in this area. The suicides of the elderly rarely make the news.
  5. by   oramar
    It happens in Western Pa but is rare. We have these huge extended families. My 85 year old mom's dementia is getting very bad but we are able to keep her at home.(no shame in placement when time comes) It takes a big family, lot of volunteers to be able to do that. It would be to much for one person or even two. My guess is that people retire down there in relatively good health but time passes and things go bad and they have no help to cope.
  6. by   tewdles
    Quote from itsmejuli
    Hmmm, I live in the Tampa Bay area, I'd say on average there is an elder spousal murder/suicide every 6 weeks in this area. The suicides of the elderly rarely make the news.
    You know, this was what my dad implied...I was/am shocked!
  7. by   ShayRN
    I am not surprised. We are a culture that worships youth and beauty and disregards the wisdom of our elders. Rather than seeing themselves as a valuable and loved part of their families our elderly see themselves as a burden. Very, very sad.
  8. by   aura_of_laura
    This strikes me as a bittersweet sort of tragedy. This is a conversation my husband and I had when we were first dating, how we would react to this sort of loss (morbid, yes, but aren't we all)...

    While I hope (as we all do) to live a fulfilling, healthy life surrounded by family and friends up to the very end, it doesn't always happen that way. It's a little ironic, maybe, since I work in psych, but I'm a firm proponent of PAS. I know that if I'm ever struck by a debilitating progressive illness, suicide would always be the glowing alternative to an agonizing, tedious death. If one is mentally competent (I know, I know, presence of suicidal ideation alone is enough to make you incompetent), you should be able to control how you go. Unfortunately, our society doesn't allow graceful dying.
  9. by   itsmejuli
    What happens is that one of the spouses will get really sick and they can't afford the medical care or prescriptions as well as their rent, food etc etc. Or a spouse needs to go into an ALF or LTC and they can't afford that either.

    Its a sad state of affairs this country is in when our elders aren't taken care of medically and financially.

    Imagine working all your life, supporting one another for 60 years, then one of you gets Alzeimers or CHF and you need to go into an ALF or LTC. But Medicare only covers 90 days a year but you need permanent placement. What happens? The healthy spouse has to sell everything they own to pay the bills, but even that is not enough. Assets are sold, Medicaid applied for and the healthy spouse is left with nothing to survive on because their money goes to pay out of pocket expenses.

    What's the solution when so called socialized medical care such as Medicare and Medicaid don't cover the bills and social security barely covers the premiums for Medicare, rent and food.

    Yeah...we live in a great country don't we?

    We're a modern and selfish nation, far behind most of humanity who respect and care for their elders.
  10. by   nebrgirl
    I too think it's sad we do so little to emotionally support our elders, but this is not a real recent thing, even back in the 70's when I was in college, elders were the second highest rate of suicide, after teenagers...we just hear more about the teenagers, because we consider that tragic.