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When it comes to ageism, are we fighting a losing battle?

by Catherine Foot, Centre for Ageing Better, 1 May 2017

Ageism is the last socially normal, socially acceptable form of prejudice. It’s been internalised, ingrained in us. It’s the last taboo.

People tend to think of ageing in terms of loss: whether it’s of loved ones; physical and mental capability; or independence, identity and sense of purpose.

Ultimately, we can’t prevent these losses, but I believe our response to longer lives needs to do six things to manage them and prevent ‘internalised ageism’ from taking root…

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She spent her working life caring for patients who were dying. Now she’s one of them

by Jessica Long, Stuff, 30 March 2018

She says talking about her journey through Mary Potter Hospice is a final service to her community. Without palliative care, she expects she would have been “completely lost”.

“To me, hospice care is about very holistic care. It’s not a number or person in front of you that gets diagnosed. It’s an entire family and their community. 

“I felt very ready to cope with things because of that [support]. To accept death and dying as a part of life.

“It’s really uplifting.”

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‘Glimpse from heaven’: Nurses reveal what people say before they die

The New Zealand Herald, 20 March 2018

Lead author Kurt Gray said: “When we imagine our emotions as we approach death, we think mostly of sadness and terror.

“But it turns out, dying is less sad and terrifying – and happier – than you think.

“In our imagination, dying is lonely and meaningless, but the final blog posts of terminally ill patients and the last words of death row inmates are filled with love, social connection and meaning.”

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What happens when a patient says, ‘Doc, help me die’

by E. Wes Ely, CNN, 20 March 2018

I pulled a chair next to his bed so we could talk at eye level. His face was blank. “I want euthanasia. I’m going to die soon, so what’s the point of living longer? I’m just wasted space.”

I felt nauseated. The illegality of euthanasia was not what ran through my mind. Instead I thought about how Paul had lost his sense of personhood. I thought about how I had chosen to become a doctor in the first place.

The problem with assisted suicide and euthanasia for Paul — and for others — is that it presented him with an illusion of ‘cure,’ when in reality it would have left him devoid of the healing he received.

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