I was both heartened and horrified by an article I read recently. Heartened because the writer took the view that, as she was cared for in her early childhood, her father should be looked after in his second.
However, I was horrified when I came to think just how many older folk are shunted away with the primary concern being just how much of their inheritance will be squandered away because they live too long.
Suddenly one of the tacit concerns about ‘electing to die’ came clearly into focus, “Now, you do understand, don’t you, Mother…wait an hour then swallow these tablets, all your pain will be gone and everything will be all right.”
I wonder whether it’s purely a matter of economics or whether we just can’t be bothered to do it, “How dare she keep going? She’s your mother and I’m no skivvy to spend my time clearing up after her.” Yet the daughter-in-law’s pin-money job might bring in far less than the money they’d pay for a care home.
Maybe there should be a Grey Union that prepares pre-testimony contracts. Here, one or more beneficiaries would accept certain responsibilities for all of the eventual cake or a bigger slice of it over their siblings. Maybe we could have professional carers who commit to these duties in exchange for some or all of the cake.
It needs to be debated – we oldies need to know what our descendants’ intentions are, well in advance. Better to give yourself a painless death while you can and let them suffer, knowing your money has gone to the Cats’ Home instead of the Care Home.