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Being sentient/functional at an old age and the fear of death within the individual (EDITED). Previously "How old is too old really?".


This question has been in my thoughts for quite some time now. I always wondered, at which point in a human being's life does he or she realizes that it's time to leave this plane of existence?

Say for example you reach 60, you're seasoned alright. Throughout your life, you performed very poor physical maintenance, you've been out of shape since forever and as a result you now suffer all types of diseases and physical illnesses. You're at a point where life, to you, consists of waking up and getting taken care of like a infant on daily basis. You're under many different types of medications, you can't perform any simple physical activity like walking and most of your needs must be tended to by someone else. Then suddenly, your condition gets worse and surgery is needed, or specialized help is needed in order to keep you alive.

Aside from your loved ones wanting to keep you alive, Isn't it selfish to put other people in tight financial situations just so you can almost mirror the life of a vegetable?


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    Apr 27 2013: Jean,
    Being in a compromised state physically or emotionally is not always connected to age......I've been there.....done that.....even though I have been generally healthy and taken good care of the body and mind throughout the life adventure. I have been kept alive on life support systems, so, your question about age, does not seem consistant with the rest of your introduction.....in my perception.

    I remember when I was a teen, thinking that age 30 was too old....over the hill! When I reached 30, I thought that 40-50 were REALLY old. The truth is, that in my 40s I was in the best emotional and physical condition I had EVER been.
    To make a long story short, I'm ready to go, or ready to stay! I no longer perceive any age as "too old", and 70 is looking pretty good and YOUNG right now...LOL:>)
    • Apr 28 2013: Just by looking at your photo Colleen I can tell that you want to live and that you filled with energy. This doesn't apply to you. I guess somewhere in my introduction I might have used the wrong words to formulate my question. I gave a very specific life scenario that most American elderly people are going through right now as we speak. America is not the number one country when it comes to the health of its citizens, particularly the elderly, and that's a well known fact.

      Give it another read, and spill your thoughts on the subject, thanks.
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        Apr 28 2013: One read should be enough. Perhaps you should give it another write and say precisely what you intend.
        • Apr 28 2013: Edward, just read the third paragraph and put yourself in that person's shoes. What would you do? that is literally all I'm asking. If you can't do that or my choice of words was that poor than by all means stop replying, and let's just let this topic on its own, or until I can a reply from someone who can understand what I'm trying to say.

          I'm not insulting you in any way by the way. I don't really see any other way to word my topic; these are the most likely the best words I can use to describe what was on my mind. Maybe you are right, and my text makes no sense. The only way for us to know for sure is to let the topic grow, and let more people post.
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        Apr 28 2013: Very perceptive Jean....yes....if I am in this earth school, I am going to live life to the fullest....with gusto:>)

        I do not agree that "most american elderly people are going through" the scenario you describe. Perhaps I'm hanging out with a different crowd than you are aware of?

        While we Americans DO indeed have a weight/diet issue, and some folks are overmedicated (in my perception), many of us make good decisions regarding our health. My buddies and I are considered "older", and we all garden, bike, ski, kayak, hike, etc. etc. etc. Many of us have physical challenges, which are mostly caused because we have lived very active lives.

        I agree with you that the scenario you present does not apply to me, and I don't think it applies to as many people as you assume. I gave your introduction another read, and I'm not sure what you are trying to address. Your profile does not indicate where you are from. I'm wondering if you are comparing americans to another specific group or culture?
        • Apr 28 2013: "I agree with you that the scenario you present does not apply to me, and I don't think it applies to as many people as you assume". Maybe you're not aware of what goes on really. I'm not making any comparisons at all, I happen to live in America.

          The scenario doesn't apply to you and that's great. Like I said to everybody else, if you're still kicking life hard, then live, live, and live. Colleen, I'm asking you to actually put yourself in that scenario. Say you weren't as healthy as you are and your days consisted of sitting at home, taking meds, eating your soup, and an oxygen tube is up your nose. Is that a life you would accept for yourself, looking back at all the great things that possibly happened in your life. To be reduced to such a small scale of existence on this planet, costing money to your children, and having them constantly worry about if you're going to wake up tomorrow. Isn't that selfish? What would you do?
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        Apr 28 2013: Jean,
        I think/feel that I am pretty aware, because throughout the life experience, I have been very active with several different, large populations, including volunteering in a terminal care facility, where most people are in the state you describe.

        I DO live Jean.....thanks for the encouragement and advice:>)

        As a matter of fact, I'm going to visit my brother this afternoon who is 85, on oxygen all the time because of COPD (lung disease) and is very limited regarding mobility. I spent a LOT of time caring for another brother who died in January from cancer. He also was limited, and in a similar state that you describe.

        One of the great things that happened to me, was a near fatal head/brain injury years ago, and at that time, I was in the condition you describe. I did not have the feeling then that I was in a "small scale of existence", nor do I see my brothers and others in that condition as being "a small scale of existence".

        It really feels like you are being judgemental regarding the decisions other people make about their reason for living or dieing? Would you like to simply "put down" all those who do not meet your criteria for life? "How old is too old really".......FOR WHAT? Be clear!
        • Apr 28 2013: I actually edited the topic, and mentioned to disregard the age factor. The age factor (60 to be specific) is only there as a cap, because a 30 year old with lung failure is not the same as a 60 year old with lung failure. At 30, there is still a lot one can accomplish with their lives. As we grow older our capacities for greatness become more and more limited.

          Because of the seriousness of the nature of your past injury, I'm not going to ask you to be more specific about it because I understand that it might a memory that you do not wish to revisit, let alone share with a 21 year old arrogant young man haha.

          I'm not imposing my ideas on anyone though, where do you get this from? I hope I don't cross a line here Colleen really, but I'm sure that your brother is not having the time of his life with the respiratory issues and his limited ability to move. Maybe I am being judgmental without really seeing it.

          My opinion (keep in mind that this is my opinion and I'm not forcing it on anyone nor really judging anyone who believes in a different idea) on this is that, I do not want to be breathing with the help of a machine, I'd let nature take its course and sync with the universe. My lungs would collapse because of physical failure and I understand that. I'm not a machine and there's no point to go against nature. I like breathing with my lungs. I'd become more of burden/worry to my family more than a source of joy and life. To pass away by your own will without fear of death is far more encouraging to the younger generation and less costly mentally/financially.

          My view on life and death seems to be extreme from your perspective probably, but I'd align myself with the natural course of things any day over life support. It probably is partly due to my personal beliefs and my spirituality.

          I feel great just by looking at your photo Collen, a lot of energy and life. I can tell you have a lot of Charisma an people like you a lot. Continue being great!
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        Apr 28 2013: Jean,
        I noticed that you edited the topic, and I also read your post in which you state that your age is 21.....that explains a LOT my friend. At 21, I might have felt the same way you do....probably would NOT have wanted to be kept alive with life support systems. Thankfully, with age and life experiences, we sometimes assimilate more information!

        At age 42, I was a competitive athlete, performer (actor, singer, dancer in musical theater), honored by an international organization as a "woman of the 90s", in the best physical and emotional shape EVER...bla...bla.....bla.

        One day I went horseback riding, and regained consciousness 2 week later after an emergency craniotomy, actually dying, and kept alive with life support systems. I was not supposed to live. When I did live, the prognosis was that I would never function "normally" again. There was a quesion about unplugging me from life support, and my family decided not to, so here I am, living a full and very active life. I do not mind revisiting, it because it is a GREAT lesson, which I choose to remember:>)

        Jean, you are NOT sure about anything regarding my brother, and yes, that is arrogant to believe you are. He is choosing to live, rather than die right now, I respect his choice, and will do all I can to help facilitate his choice. He is not afraid of death....we talk about it a lot. He simply chooses to live right now.

        I respect the choice you make for yourself at this time as well, and I suggest that you may change your mind at some point in the future. Your view is not at all "extreme", and I respect your view. You are saying on this thread that nobody understands what you are talking about....nobody understands the topic. I suggest that most of us understand, and may have a different perspective.

        You might even want to rethink your statement....
        "As we grow older our capacities for greatness become more and more limited."

        Maybe....just maybe....the possibility for greatness becomes more great:>)
        • Apr 28 2013: See Collen, now we're talking. Even though this is revolving about your personal life and your brother, I'm able to get what I wanted, a different perspective. Everybody else want to talk about the government and the law, when I'm only asking for personal perspectives.

          Thank you for your time!
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        Apr 28 2013: Jean, I'm curious.....

        Why do you want to set your present worldview/mindset in stone at the young age of 21?
        • Apr 28 2013: I don't Colleen. Because If that was the case, I wouldn't have came to Ted to discuss something I have no intention of changing my mind on. I hope everyone else got something out of this topic, because I came here to acquire knowledge, not to throw ideas around for the sake of it.
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        Apr 28 2013: RE: "Edward, just read the third paragraph. . . " You now have an edited post offered for debate which really asks no question. What EXACTLY is it you are seeking arguments in support of, or in opposition to? Are you proposing that hopelessly non-productive and apparently non-aware people should be killed?
        • Apr 28 2013: Edward my whole post is just nonsense as you mentioned above, let's just leave it at that.

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