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Photo courtesy of Milligans Tattoo, The Hague.

Tattooed Pensioners — The Hague, NL

by Peter Biľak

The Hague has seen a surge in the number of senior citizens visiting tattoo parlors. They are not hipster grandmas and grandpas, but people following the example of Nel Bolten, a 91-year-old former nurse who got a tattoo on her chest reading ‘Do Not Resuscitate!!! I am 91+’. She says that at her age the chance of a full recovery after resuscitation is slim, but she has had ‘a beautiful life’ and is not afraid to die.

Bolten is one of about 32,000 Dutch citizens who have requested official Do Not Resuscitate documents from NVVE, the Dutch Association that issues bracelets with the name and legally approved request not to be resuscitated. She says she took the additional step of getting the tattoo because ‘the first thing they do when resuscitating is open your shirt, not look for a bracelet’. While the prominent red and blue lettering on her chest is not a legally binding document, it may help her to have her wishes respected.

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