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Healthcare Worker Says Men Are Overwhelming Dying Alone In Nursing Homes – 'Nobody Came Because They Were Not Good Men When They Were Alive'

Photo: Perfect Wave via Shutterstock / Patricia Prudente via Unsplash
old man looking at the window and faded picture of family

Many people fear getting older and having no family and friends to turn to. They imagine being in a nursing home, withering away in loneliness and eventually dying with no one that they love and care about to be there for the final moments.

Sadly, according to one healthcare worker, that is exactly what is happening to many men as they age.

The healthcare worker explained why it's become overwhelmingly common for men to die alone.

In a TikTok video, Gwendolyn Shanell responds to a comment from a viewer who shared that they had repeatedly asked their husband to “step up his parenting game.” Shanell had some harsh facts to deliver about men like the one they were discussing, telling women not to waste time worrying about men who don't show up for their families as the men will feel the consequences in time.

Shanell, who said she has worked in the healthcare field for years, told people watching that men are overwhelmingly dying alone. She said that when it comes to patients in nursing homes, the women have daughters who come every two weeks to visit, but the men are another story.

She said that men who end up in a healthcare facility usually pass away with no one but medical professionals at their sides. 



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“I am the one who is right there when some of these men are taking their last breaths,” she shared. Shanell told viewers she had cleaned the bodies of so many men who had died and that “Nobody showed up for them… Not their kids… Not their wives… Not Their grandkids.”

She believes there is a valid explanation for why men are not getting the same end-of-life love, care, and attention women do.

“They were not good men while they were alive,” the TikToker explained, saying that men like this will continue to die alone.

On a day-to-day basis, she witnesses elderly men expiring in loneliness and despair. She says the men who refuse to be there for their families while they are young lose everyone and everything as they age, and no one cares about them in their last days.

In Korea, the concept of dying alone is known as “Godsaka,” and men are four times more likely to experience it than women. But are men dying from loneliness in their old age or are they passing away naturally and just happen to have no family or friends at their bedsides? According to studies, men who live alone have higher risk factors for many illnesses that can cut their lives short.

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One thing that I have noticed in families is that when a matriarch dies, it feels like a deep and traumatizing life for everyone in the family. They may have spent time at her bedside, sharing their love as she transitioned. They mourn her nurturing spirit, the family traditions she has passed down, her strength, her loyalty to her loved ones, and her unmatched ability to make everything seem okay at will.

But when a patriarch passes, seeing the family band together to ease their worries and send them off with good vibes and musings about a job well done is less common. There are men who, like elderly women were the glue that held their families together, but more often than not, there is much less fanfare when an older man dies.

There are several factors that impact this phenomenon.

Is it nature or nurture… or a combination of both?

Children and grandchildren are much more likely to forgive a woman’s transgressions because they ‘gave them life.’ They might look past her wrongs, empathize, and see the good in her. But for many men, since they don’t have the burden of birthing children, they have to exhibit consistent love and concern for their friends and family to maintain those relationships and their closeness until they pass.

When men do struggle with meeting their patriarchal duties, they often have difficulty being vulnerable and sharing their emotions, so they ignore them, and in the process, lose people who love them. Familial relationships could definitely improve if men were more comfortable with opening up and sharing their true intentions rather than allowing relatives to make their own assumptions.

Whatever the reason, it is sad when people take their last breath alone and with nobody who cares around. Love is an action word, and it is like currency. Throughout life, the way that you connect with people and what you do to show you care is ‘banked’ and when it’s your time to go, those who you’ve invested in will be there for you as you have been for them.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationships, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.