Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Dementia Patients

So John Simpson has come up with the novel idea that it were better to die by suicide before one is reduced to a husk with a pumping heart, quivering limbs, senseless eyes and the constant flow of various involuntary bodily emissions and effluxions stemmed by pads and cloths, at the hands of care home staff.

The trouble with the Simpson option is that old people are often suddenly overtaken by events and a massive stroke can rob one of the ability to think and or to act to 'end it all', yet leave one lingering for years in some twilight zone. It would, I suspect, be impossible to make an exactly-timed appointment with death, to avoid a decline into senility, after maximizing one's time of enjoyment.

It's a far better and safer idea to smoke like an engine and drink like a fish and go out with a massive coronary at around 70, while out in the fresh air, undertaking some pleasurable pursuit. The trouble is that secular, modern society nearly everywhere is all geared up to convincing people that they can live forever if they don't smoke, don't drink too much etc etc. But it's all a big 'con' because the big downside is that there is an increasing community of helpless, joyless old people, sliding around in incontinence pads, in forgotten corners of care homes: drawing pensions for years after the forecast funding has been exhausted, and spending vast sums of their own or the state's cash on the care needed, and they have been completely robbed of the mental and\or physical ability to end it all. Of course, the care home owners have a nice little industry going and growing, to the detriment of true human happiness.


  1. Ain't that the truth!?!?

  2. I may be a mere stripling of 50 but the older I get, the more I agree with your conclusion.

    Quality of Life is precisely that - quality...not quantity. The way we choose to encounter the unforgiving minute, whether we choose to attack life and wring the happiness from it, or skulk along, hoping misfortune won't spot us...

    There is a marvellous passage in Waugh's short story "Basil Seal Rides Again"...I don't have it to hand but something about characters not ordering their lives with a view to counterfeit youth and longevity, and hence being well dressed and rosy cheeked old buffers. There aren't enough of them in Britain now...All too cowed by fear of cancer, coronaries and crime to go out an enjoy themselves.

  3. I should probably have added (to smoking and drinking), having a full fry-up in proper, tasty, lard every morning and (unless luncheon is simply poured),enjoying some nice, crunchy, fatted roast beef for luncheon, followed by a nice dish of pork crackling with strong cocktails at 6pm. Life is not too short; it's too long: too long to live like a grubbing Scrooge, anmyway.

  4. AMEN!

    Cheers, St. Tully