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Fabric-of-Space Problems - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Fabric-of-Space Problems
While researching, I found this article about increased risk of death following fractures in old people. It notes that the exact cause of death is typically unrelated to the fracture itself, but the correlation is very strong.

This is often a fabric-of-space problem.  The fracture doesn't cause the proximate death.  Instead, the fracture and the death are both effects  of a deeper cause: the whole body is wearing out.  Sometimes you see a warning injury or two before the system collapses.  Other times you see what's called a cascade failure, when a whole bunch of stuff wears out at roughly the same time.  These are actually rather well known features of old age, but people really don't like to talk about them, because folks tend to go apeshit if you point out that a break means it's a good idea to brush up end-of-life plans.

But there it is.  Bodies wear out.  If you know the signs, then you can respond accordingly.  Is the person done with their lifework?  If not, either finish it quickly or look for ways to buy a little more time.  They might have more, but don't count on  that. Do they have a care plan, will, etc?  If not, make those now.  Think very carefully about stances on life-sustaining treatment.  You need to distinguish whether it's just an ordinary fracture (i.e. other health is fine and life still busy) or the beginning of the end (especially if other health is declining and life is mostly or all wrapped up).  Fighting to prolong life in a falling-apart body is a miserable disaster for everyone but the people who make money from it.  A graceful exit is both more dignified and less unpleasant.  If one doesn't know how to disengage, try talking to a clergy person; some of them are trained for that.  Some sacred texts have instructions too, if one prefers reading to talking.

Everyone dies sometime of something.  Watch for the signs so nobody misses their exit, because that sucks.

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From: rhodielady_47 Date: June 6th, 2018 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's something else no one likes to think about: Setting up a power-of-attorney for yourself.

I had a friend once who didn't have one of those fixed up for himself. When he suddenly became gravely ill, he was rushed to a local hospital which, after figuring out how badly off he was, then turned around and rushed him to the big research hospital in the state I grew up in.
He went straight into ICU where they promptly sedated him and he could NOT tell them what he wanted done or not done.
What's worse, he was totally estranged from his family other than his father who'd recently been put into a nursing home. His step-mother literally told the hospital she didn't give a flip what they did with him and then hung up on them!
Finally when it looked as though he was about to die, the hospital grudgingly agreed to have him operated on. Too late. He died.
I think he'd have lived if he'd been treated promptly.

So these days, considering how many people were only kids whose parents were in turn only kids, divorce, estrangement, and etc. it only makes sense to have a power-of-attorney made up for yourself "just in case".
For protection of your wishes when you, yourself, can't speak.
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