RIP Wendy Mitchell.

Banjomansmate

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Jan 13, 2019
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A brave lady who made her own decision as to when to leave dementia behind her.

 

Conrad21

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Sep 20, 2021
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I have just seen this on the news (yahoo).

We have just finished reading the last of her 3 books. We were a bit shocked to see the news and thought her death a bit "sudden" as she seemed to be doing remarkably well (i.e. - still writing a blog and walking etc.) in comparison to our mum that has been immobile and in a real state for 3 years already (and continues on) even though diagnosed at a very similar age and time to Wendy (though with a different diagnosis inc. vascular).

I have not read her last blog post yet. But it appears she did chose to die in what can only be described as 'self assisted dying' which I can fully understand. Strangely enough I was thinking about making a thread here about 'assisted dying' several weeks ago . . (I still might as I cannot find one in the search).
 
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Banjomansmate

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Jan 13, 2019
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Considering the times carers have written here and been concerned about their loved ones not eating at their end of life I found it interesting that she wrote that she was no longer hungry or thirsty and therefore found it relatively easy not to eat or drink anything. Was her body already beginning to shut down I wonder?
 

Conrad21

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Sep 20, 2021
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I have had to reread the blog as I was a bit confused about her death at first.

As I understand she wanted to travel to Dignitas in Switzerland yet broke her neck and both wrists in a fall so was unable to travel. This again points to that horrible dilemma that people in countries with no Assisted Dying have - that one must go way before their time as if they leave it too late then it will be too late to chose. And how would one ever know?

I had never heard of Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED) so will need to research.
 

Jaded'n'faded

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Jan 23, 2019
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Considering the times carers have written here and been concerned about their loved ones not eating at their end of life I found it interesting that she wrote that she was no longer hungry or thirsty and therefore found it relatively easy not to eat or drink anything. Was her body already beginning to shut down I wonder?
I must admit when my mum was in the care home and her appetite was declining, I wasn't concerned. She never ate well there but when she stopped eatiing her favourite Giant Chocolate Buttons I knew she wouldn't regain her appetite.

My thoughts were, if she's hungry she will eat. But food was not going to make her better so I just accepted it. As it happened she did not die of starvation but of dementia, dying quietly and somewhat unexpectedly before reaching the late stages. It was the best I could wish for her.
 

Jay M

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Jan 22, 2022
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Considering the times carers have written here and been concerned about their loved ones not eating at their end of life I found it interesting that she wrote that she was no longer hungry or thirsty and therefore found it relatively easy not to eat or drink anything. Was her body already beginning to shut down I wonder?
I’ve just finished her first book, which she wrote when still in the earlier stages. She would set alarms to remind herself to eat and drink, not only because she’d forget, but because she never felt hungry or thirsty.
 

Violet Jane

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Aug 23, 2021
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She was fortunate that she wasn't compelled to eat and drink. Most care homes make strenuous efforts until the very end of life. I expect that living at home gave her that choice. I do wonder who wrote that article and how bad she was when she decided to end her life.
 

Violet Jane

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Aug 23, 2021
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Yes, she was a very inspiring woman. As she says in her article, there will be people who are disappointed with her decision to end her life.
 

Violet Jane

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Aug 23, 2021
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I asked because my mother couldn't have written an article like that soon after her diagnosis, let alone years after her diagnosis and Wendy wrote this article ten years after diagnosis. Not to take anything away from Wendy but I think that her type of dementia was rather unusual. Ten years after diagnosis most people are very cognitively impaired (and most don't live as long). Of course, there are exceptions.
 

canary

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Feb 25, 2014
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Considering the times carers have written here and been concerned about their loved ones not eating at their end of life I found it interesting that she wrote that she was no longer hungry or thirsty and therefore found it relatively easy not to eat or drink anything. Was her body already beginning to shut down I wonder?
I wondered that too, especially as she had had a fall and broken bones.
 

Firecatcher

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Jan 6, 2020
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I was saddened to hear of Wendy’s death as I’d sometimes read her blog posts. She was certainly a remarkable and resourceful women and fortunate that she was able to live independently until the end. I fully support the choice she made and would do the same if I was diagnosed with dementia. I’m also glad she didn’t leave it until it was too late. It’s unfortunate that people have to go to these lengths and to go without fluids must have taken a lot of resolve. I think her recent admission to hospital would have undoubtedly given her a snapshot of what her future life was going to look like. I think Wendy was able to carry out her wishes because she still had capacity and her daughters supported her decision. I’m pleased they didn’t wait until she was unconscious and then whisked her into hospital.
 

Jerseygirl

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Feb 8, 2021
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I live nearby and she gave a speech at a Carers Conference only last october. Her speech was amazing with a standing ovation. My love to her family. I can quite understand her decision as i watch my frightened and confused mother with severe alzheimers, now in her 7th year. Getting dementia is my biggest fear and (i do not say this lightly after witnessing my grandmother suffer with pancreatic cancer and die) but if a choice i would rather it be cancer.
 

Banjomansmate

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Jan 13, 2019
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Dorset
I live nearby and she gave a speech at a Carers Conference only last october. Her speech was amazing with a standing ovation. My love to her family. I can quite understand her decision as i watch my frightened and confused mother with severe alzheimers, now in her 7th year. Getting dementia is my biggest fear and (i do not say this lightly after witnessing my grandmother suffer with pancreatic cancer and die) but if a choice i would rather it be cancer.
My husband died of lung cancer and my ”partner” twenty years later with dementia and I say the same as you!
 

Alzhangel

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Feb 25, 2024
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A most incredible woman. To me she has been my idol in the jumble jungle that is dementia. So strong, so honest, such a great teacher.
I feel sad that there hasn’t been a post about her death from Alzheimer’s Society or Alzheimer’s Research (hopefully I am wrong about this). I saw a lovely post from Dementia UK. I see Esther Rantzen campaigning hard for ‘right to die’-on the front page of a paper yesterday. I don’t think Wendy was even mentioned in the article!
We have lost such a great mentor in the world of dementia. I hope to do just a smidge, of what Wendy has done, to bring more understanding and awareness of Alzheimer’s and all dementia.
Rest peacefully Wendy and so much love to your 2 daughters. ❤️
 

Izzy

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Aug 31, 2003
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Just noticed this on X or Twitter as was -

IMG_4740.jpeg
 

Conrad21

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Sep 20, 2021
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I asked because my mother couldn't have written an article like that soon after her diagnosis, let alone years after her diagnosis and Wendy wrote this article ten years after diagnosis. Not to take anything away from Wendy but I think that her type of dementia was rather unusual. Ten years after diagnosis most people are very cognitively impaired (and most don't live as long). Of course, there are exceptions.
This is probably a lot of people's reactions (mine included). I cannot find any reference to the particular type of dementia she was diagnosed with other than 'early onset'.
I have read on other forums where people are speculating whether she could have been misdiagnosed at all.

I suppose we would only ever know if her brain was inspected after death and the results made public. I did read that some rare forms of dementia can only be confirmed after this kind of procedure.
 

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