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post #41 of 58 Old 04-03-2019
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Re: End of Life Plan

Would note many people and couples do go from couch potato to cruisers. In fact the majority of long term cruisers I know had sedentary jobs (IT,doctor, lawyer, small business owner, engineer etc.). Majority had a fairly dramatic increase in physical activity after becoming full time cruisers. Most become full time cruisers after partial or full retirement. Age of retirement varies but is generally in the 50-60s range.
Would further note the increase in physical activity is not in the main related to the sailing. Modern boats require skill but not strength. Rather it’s the related activities of the cruising life- increase in walking as you explore new places, diving/snorkeling/swimming, maintenance etc.

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post #42 of 58 Old 04-03-2019
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Re: End of Life Plan

My best friend introduced me to sailing in 1984. He taught me and sailed with me locally and to the Caribbean and Bermuda a number of times. He helped me buy Shiva and I went to see several boats with him over the past 20 years when he wanted a boat. He sold his boat to raise a family and got back into it because he had to. :-)

Jack died last year. He had his boat up for sail for about 3 years as his health declined. He wouldn't even come sailing with me when his health declined. And I know he did less sailing on his boat before that. He was a very salty and brilliant sailor. He gave me the most precious gift I have ever received in life. He knew when his sailing was over. It was very sad to witness.
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post #43 of 58 Old 04-03-2019
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Re: End of Life Plan

3 years ago shared a harbor in the St.John(USVI) national park with a sistership. They were on one of the single digit hull number outbounds. They were in their 80s. Talking with them they would take on a single paid crew time to time for long cruises or passages.
This year ran into them in Rodney Bay. Their boat was Bristol. They were still living on the boat but had a local gentleman doing all the maintenance and helping them sail when they wanted the boat moved. The lady was sharp as a tack but the gentleman was clearly losing it.
Expect they will die on their boat. Seems they thought it through. Have enough support and resources they can stay on the boat and age in place. They aren’t active sailors and need help for that but still to some degree are living the cruising life.
I did the occasional consult in various dementia units (calling it memory care doesn’t change reality). I also had contract work managing and setting up and getting certification for these units. Pursuant to this and consulting in sniffs (nursing homes) my wife convinced me to build a house. Also there’s space for my two daughters and their families to visit but it’s focused on single floor living and ability to do all ADLs (activities of daily living) well into our senescence. We’ve arranged things so we’ll avoid nursing homes. Hospice perhaps but no nursing homes. The setting is idyllic being on a pond inside a town/state park.
I find some of my peers aren’t realistic. You will age. You will become debilitated even if you don’t dement. Plan ahead. I plan to cruise into my 70s. Then bring the boat up to be near the newly built home and daysail with an occasional short trip. Then sell her and fish my pond until I can’t. We’ve established this general plan over twenty years ago. We should have 40 years ago but you live and learn.
I appreciate this thread. I hope it gets people thinking.

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post #44 of 58 Old 04-03-2019
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Re: End of Life Plan

I have almost literally been on boats since my teen years and a full-time liveaboard since 1969.
That changes my body has gone through have definitely made a huge difference to everything I do aboard, from sailing to sleeping. Some are conscious voluntary thoughts others are just forced on me by my body.
I can and do still sit crosslegged as we did as kids, but my agility has declined to the point that it is prudent to go from hand hold to hand hold as I move through the inside or on deck, not run out the 30' bowsprit as I did as a teen on the Wanderer, when we were underway.
But, as I'm on board every day, these changes are so gradual, it usually takes an incident to make me aware of my new limitations. So now a lot more thought goes into each action and decision I make. It's hard. I've been doing this stuff for so long it is ingrained in every fiber of my being, and having to decide if I should, even though I always have done something, in the 'regular' way, is very difficult.
But I got lucky. I don't ever have to sail alone, and there are no admirals aboard our boat. My wife is much younger than I and carries a lot of the weight, which means we can sail longer together; which means I can sail longer. And I sincerely think that will be the key to my longevity.
I just cannot imagine what I would do to keep going if I didn't have this to do.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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Re: End of Life Plan

Very, very good thread. Thanks to all contributors.

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Re: End of Life Plan

Unless you make some definitive plan on where, when and how you have no say in it. For me it was no plan .Wired up in a hospital bed. Noticed everything was going sparcktly blue and then dark. A bright white light grew awareness. Got brighter and hot. Very hot .Dammed ,it;s not comfortable. Hot. Become aware of a bevey of nurses prodding Apparently alarms had gone off. So, the actual act of not being is no biggie but the path to there is variable /controlable .
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post #47 of 58 Old 04-04-2019
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Re: End of Life Plan

If it happens it happens. How many of you have died? I have and for 7 minutes and not in a hospital. Sudden death. No warning, nothing. Everything goes black. No sound, no lights, nothing. No respiration, no heartbeat. Lucky I wasn't on my boat or I wouldn't be here to talk about it. Not a heart attack just a simple electrolyte imbalance brought on by a medication. Lucky it was on the court at a tennis club where a bystander nurse administered correct CPR and knew how to use the club's AED. I have my own AED now which is implanted just in case it happens again. While recovering from my implant incisions I used the 6 weeks to look at boats and boat a sprit boat and sold my cruisier C&C. Figured I might as well go faster in the remaining time I might have. Chances are that it might never happen again and I will outlive most. Then again if something goes wrong, bang your dead. You just never know.
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post #48 of 58 Old 04-04-2019
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Re: End of Life Plan

My plan is. Sometime after age 95...is to be shot by a jealous husband
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Re: End of Life Plan

Good luck with that.. More likely is slumped in a wheel chair over a puddle of urine in a crowded hallway of a nursing home,dreaming of being shot.
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post #50 of 58 Old 04-04-2019
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Re: End of Life Plan

Already had one brush with the other side... Flu Strain A sent me into the ER with a 104.5 F degree fever. Crashed while the nurse was doing paperwork; my ex called out when the monitor showing me going into vfib. Cardiologists are still arguing back and forth whether I've got Brugada's Syndrome, but I'm the one who got stuck with the diagnosis and wondering whether Someone's gonna flick my switch off before I'm ready. On the whole, not a bad way to go... *snick* goes the switch and out I go, possibly recovering on my own or with the help of an AED... possibly not. Still won't forget the visceral feeling like someone trying to shove me backwards through a door frame while I was fighting to stay conscious that night.

As a result, I've done a lot of thinking on the topic... still a relatively young man, but being shown one's own mortality will do that, I guess. I want to live long and well enough to be able to "greet Death like an old friend", knowing that "all a man can do is smile back."

I just hope I'm not on the boat when it happens. Someone out there ought to be sailing my boat when I'm done with it... it shouldn't be left to haul my empty husk around 'til someone else has the misfortune to find it.
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