In a tragic turn of events, a 92 year old woman has shot her son after he proposed putting her into a nursing home.
The 72-year-old man died at the scene.
Police who arrived at Anna Mae Blessing’s home afterwards, found her sitting in her bedroom, and they allege she muttered, “You took my life, so I’m taking yours.”
Once taken into custody, it has been reported she told police she should be “put to sleep”.
The woman had been living with her son and his girlfriend, and had been growing increasingly concerned about the couple’s plans to move her into aged care.
The difficult decision to move to aged care
This tragic situation has arisen from a difficult life stage that most of us must face at some point, whether we are deciding to put a loved one into care, or making the decision about the future of our own lives.
Elderly people usually want to maintain their independence, and often want to live out their lives in the comfortable and familiar surroundings of their own home. It can be an enormous wrench for them to leave their homes and move into unfamiliar surroundings, with new routines, and unknown people.
Sometimes people’s experience of aged care may go back thirty or forty years, and may bring back memories of unpleasant facilities and unsatisfactory care, compounding any reluctant to move into care.
The decision is never easy, and most will put it off for as long as they can.
Sometimes the final decision is not satisfactory for all parties, and can be particularly difficult for the person being placed in care if they feel the decision has been taken out of their hands, and is not their own.
Having the decision to move into care made by another person can lead people to devastating feelings of powerlessness – and to desperate acts.
A desperate act
Police say Ms Blessing told them she spent three or four nights thinking over her son’s revelation he was going to put her into aged care. Ruminating over these thoughts over a number of days appears to have been the prompt that made her to take the desperate step of killing her own son.
She has been charged with first-degree murder, and could now go to jail for her remaining days.
If you or anyone you know needs help:
PANDA on 1300 726 306
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
Headspace on 1800 650 890