Achieving Sudden Death (Versus a Long and Miserable Life)

By Pamela D Wilson MS, BS/BA, CSA, NCG

My friends and colleagues report a preference for dying “quickly” rather than “lingering” for years with a chronic disease that steals quality of life. My parents expressed the same preference and achieved their desire to go quickly rather than to be sustained by machines or to live a long and painful death. My father went into the hospital for routine surgery and failed to wake up the next morning. My mother, succumbed to sepsis and was gone within a matter of hours. My sister’s death was sudden, the result of a car accident.

The idea of sudden death is gaining momentum through a new movement called The Healthspan Imperative. Industry leaders including the American Geriatrics Society and the Buck Institute for Aging Research, are supporting the concept of Healthspan.

What does this mean? The goal of the Healthspan Imperative is not to extend life but to increase the years of life during which we experience good health and vitality rather than lingering for years with debilitating chronic disease.

This imperative directly relates to the concept of caregiving; most caregivers experience health declines from participation in the role of caregiver and eventually become care recipients. How might we change the trajectory of our lives by embracing the concept of Healthspan?

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©2015 Pamela D. Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

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