I Am Living

I am Ralph Robinson.
I am stoic.
I am committed.
I am humorous.

Ralph Robinson and his wife, Shirley, are coping with Ralph’s diagnosis as they navigate how to give him the best care. Ralph reflects on our society’s treatment of old age and the process of accepting his mortality. He also reflects on the joys and regrets he has for the life he has led.

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“Aging is medicalised in a way that robs the individual of their agency in the matter so people die virtually strapped to machinery and barely conscious because they are drugged and so on. They are kept alive technically but they are not living and they are not choosing and they are not in their own space so I think we need to think a lot about that.”

— Ralph Robinson

“I don’t think I have a particular death sentence. I am not on death row. I do realise though that there is going to be a limit to the time so, as I am alive, I am going to live. I am not going to sit around moaning about it. I’ve got a lot I want to do.”

— Ralph Robinson

“It is manners, in many ways. There is a lack of basic courtesy, and a lack of willingness to pay attention to the other person. Ensure that the specialist you see has some understanding of the connectedness of services. Our case in point with the oxygen. It’s taken two years to actually get referred to the specialist who recommends that you get free oxygen.”

— Shirley Schulz-Robinson

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