When I read this story about a man who murdered his wife, then himself, after she got Alzheimer's and was too difficult to care for, I didn't feel misty-eyed like some readers. I was furious. We should live in a society that values people, no matter their abilities, and provides a safety net for care when a caregiver can't bear the burden. We should always have plans in place for people who need it. That said, it seems as if this man could have provided his wife with a caregiver or assisted living, so why not do that instead?
There's also the fact that, as I've discussed with several friends, she took care of him for his life and the moment she couldn't, he gave up. There's a reason we don't hear about the reverse happening all that often: women care for men. Men don't always seem to be able to do the same. There are exceptions in both cases, but in general that's how it is, and like this poster pointed out, it's chilling that these women were married to their murderers for 40 years and had no idea.
Why did he get to decide that she had to die? Why couldn't he just let someone else care for her? Even if he couldn't bear to see her degenerate, who is to say that's what she wanted for herself? The issues of mental illness, caring for the ill and infirmed and managing disabilities are complex and in desperate need of addressing in this nation.
But how do we do it? What are your thoughts?