As a teen I wanted to be immortal. As I got older I realised immortality had its drawbacks and moved to a line of thining more like The Who. My Generation became my mantra. Hope I die before I get old!
For generations now we’ve been living longer.
When the CSO started compiling statistics in 1926 the average life expectancy of an Irish man was 57.04 years.
In 2012 it was 78.04
That’s an increase of 21 years!
For an Irish Woman it’s increased even more!
In 2012 an Irish Woman could expect to live 24.9 years longer than her 1926 counterpart.
The Effects of Living Longer?
With longer life comes more health issues.
Although there has been a marked decrease in the mortality rates from Strokes and Heart Disease.
There has been an increase in those suffering from Dementia.
The biggest risk factor for dementia is age.
According to Dementia UK in 2015 the prevalence of Dementia was 2 people for every 100 aged 65 to 69.
For the over 80’s however this rises to 1 in 5.
This chart shows the breakdown by gender and age.
It happens to us all.
I’ve never understood why people want to prolong death.
For younger people I can.
There may be things they still want to do.
Places to travel and visit.
Children to see grow up and start families of their own.
For someone who has lived their life, seen their children grow and spent time with Grandkids I don’t.
I’m not religious.
I don’t believe in life after death.
I’m not worried about facing eternal damnation in hell.
So there is no urge to prolong life to give me time to repent my sons and wrongdoings in an attempt to get to heaven.
Aging In My Family
My Granny is well into her 90’s. Her husband died a few years after World War 2.
She raised her children and saw her Grandchildren grow to adulthood.
For the last 15 years or more she has been in a nursing home.
Dementia means she doesn’t recognise her own children, or grandchildren.
The fun loving Granny who gave us ice cream before bed and chocolate bars whilst out shopping is long gone.
Replaced by a frail woman. Scared to leave the nursing home to see a Dr or a Dentist.
My adopted father is in his 80’s
Two replacement knee surgeries. Prostate cancer. Ever decreasing vision.
My adopted mother is well into her 70’s.
Over the last decade she also has had more medical issues than in the previous 60 combined.
Living on different continents and my role as carer for my Autistic Stepson I’m in no position to care for them.
My Sister has health issues of her own Gastroparesis. So also cannot care for them.
Thankfully they were prudent when younger and planned for retirement.
Hopefully between the sale of their current home and pensions they should be able to cover the costs of care in their twilight years.
Hope I Die Before I’m Old
I don’t want to end up like my Granny.
Scared and frightened of everything, because I no longer remember what it is.
I don’t want my grandchildren to be frightened to visit me, because I shout, smell or have the same conversation 50 times.
I don’t want to have this operation, that operation.
Tests for this and that.
I don’t want to look Little Miss OMG in the eye and see sadness when she looks at me.
Obviously there’s currently a 3/5 chance I won’t develope Dementia.
Not the best odds though, plus there are plenty of other illnesses and medical problems that I could get.
So once I see my kids grow to adulthood and get a few years enjoying my older years I’ll be happy.