Researchers found that even though elders are a great part of society, little facts about their thoughts on death and preferences for their care are taken into account.
A group of British researchers at the University of Cambridge sought to understand in a better way elders preferences when it comes to the end of life attitudes and care. With this study, more attention towards the matter would be made.
The team of researchers evaluated and interviewed a group of 42 elders between the ages of 95 and 101 years, mostly women. In the group 33 of the participants needed help from their caregivers to fully complete the process.
“Despite the dramatic rise in the number of people living into very old age, there is far too little discussion about what the ‘oldest old’ feel about the end of their lives. We know very little too about the difficult decisions concerning their end-of-life care,” said lead study author Judy Fleming from Cambridge University.
Researchers found that most of the interviewed were mainly leaving on a day-to-day basis and most were ‘ready to die’. Most of the elders expressed concerns when it came to the quality of life, being a burden to others and having nothing to live for.
The majority of the elders didn’t express concerns while being asked about death, yet most of them expressed the wish to die peacefully, to not leave an impact to others left behind, all preferred comfort to having life-saving treatments in case of a serious disease or in the need to stay in a hospital room.
Most of the elders didn’t worry much about the future “It’s a day from the day when you get to 97” Said one of the participants.
In the end, researchers found that elderly who live from 95 years up, are open and willing to discuss dying and end-of-life treatment.
Source: Journal PLoS