The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 21, 2012

Letter: Taking the bear over extended care

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Several years ago, I read an article and have heard it mentioned on TV since then about an elderly Eskimo in Alaska.

This individual was in poor health and knew there wasn’t much time left. Knowing how difficult it was to care for an elderly patient in this country, this person decided to end it all. One way to do that in the winter was to go out in the ice and snow and sit and wait for a polar bear.

It is unbelievable how long it is possible to keep a person breathing when that is all they can do on their own. They are not living, they just breathing. This is especially true if they have Alzheimer’s.

An Alzheimer’s patient doesn’t know who they are or who anyone else is.

They don’t know who their great-grandchildren are. They don’t even know what they are.

My wife has had Alzheimer’s for more than six years. She began preparing for heaven at an early age. She made sure her four children and their father were exposed to a Christian education.

It does not seem right she is ready for heaven and we won’t let her go. This seems like we are holding her in purgatory.

Caregiving is great and caregivers are wonderful, but if I had the choice of receiving extended care or one minute with the bear, I would take the bear.

Duaine Hubbart