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The Long Goodbye (Atlanta Magazine)

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Augustus Monroe thought he’d be dead long before he’d need a nursing home. In 2001, Monroe was 82 years old and had a deteriorating spine. He was taken to the hospital after a bad fall where doctors discovered prostate cancer. Sure their father was in his last days, Monroe’s children said their goodbyes. Eleven years later Monroe is still alive and has been kicked out of two hospices for not dying. Assisted living and medical bills (mostly paid by Medicare) have drained his retirement income and life savings of more than $300,000. Monroe laughed when his kids tried to discuss assisted living and long-term care insurance with him. He refused to discuss it further; confident he would simply drop dead one day and that would be the end of it. There are no heroic measures keeping Monroe alive now. Monroe has no interest in dying, said one of his nurses.