'Why I absolutely refuse to die in an aged care facility'

I won’t ever be in aged care … Well, if I’ve got anything to do with it, I just won’t! I made a decision a very long time ago that my life will end on my terms!

I realise that those with deeply religious beliefs, may disagree with my choice but that is the point, it is my choice. Over my 63 years on this earth, I’ve witnessed read about, and been appalled by too many instances of pain, suffering and abuse of those who are vulnerable. I don’t wish to be one of those people.

To end my days, either in pain or without knowing those that I’ve loved or who love me, be so infirm that I am dependent on the care and kindness of others to feed me, dress me and wipe my bum, to be shuffled off into a home to stare out of the window? No, thank you!

I am, as are many others, a staunch supporter of ‘assisted dying’. I don’t want to die alone, I want to die with my loved ones around me. I want to die with laughter and music around me. I want to die peacefully. Our animals are given that privilege. Why can’t we be given the same?

The Queensland government is taking a back seat on this issue, refusing to raise it for discussion in parliament. Well, I won’t tolerate a bunch of bloody politicians telling me what I can and can’t do about leaving this mortal coil. I’ve made my intentions abundantly clear to my sons, my family and my power of attorney. I’ve also made it clear what is to happen once I’ve kicked the bucket.

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It will be off to the crematorium in the cheapest box available, then they are all to go off to the nearest pub, have a good ‘piss up’, playing loud music and laughing (or a barbecue in the backyard, if they prefer) and it will be my shout. Then at a time convenient, they are to cast my ashes to the wind or plant me under a tree – whatever takes their fancy. I’ll be none the wiser, will I? Or will I? I’ve told them I’ll come back to bloody haunt them if they haven’t done as they are told!

No aged care facility for me! I plan to go out with a bang (if given the opportunity). Mind you, I’m in no hurry.

Sure, I’ve got the ‘chronic sh*t’ to contend with (but that’s manageable) and hopefully, the cancer doesn’t come back but as long as my mind is sharp, I can put pen to paper (or fingers to a keyboard); and keep getting into trouble, life is still good. I am under no illusion that this will not always be, so don’t book a bed in an old folk’s home for me. Because I won’t be in it!

How do you feel about aged care? Have you got given any consideration to what will happen once you die?

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