Here is a comment that warms my heart. It deals with this post and was offered by someone using the name Karen Oveturf. (Commenters can use any name they like. You find a guide to commenting here.)
Dr. Bill, you said…
“Growing old is difficult, complicated and conflicted work.”
I want to say “Aging well” is a difficult, complicated and conflicted work.
Growing old is something we look forward to from the first childhood sense of aging. Growing old is something we do every day, and except for complex medical interventions, we do without much difficulty, complication, or conflict. What we don’t do, though, when we plan to stay alive another day, is plan how we will see a quality day. Do we stay alive to see the face of a grandchild, one more day? Then what happens if we do not see that face? Is it a quality day that we saved our life for? What happens to the caregiver, brought up to believe that quality is caring for one’s parents, then because of the way work and other obligations come into play, the caregiver cannot offer the quality care they feel the parents deserve? Is that a quality day?
We have to see it all, and treat the whole with respect, to make it all happen to the best result.
Our efforts to change aging truly is changing the culture – that part you have right, Dr. Bill. What we do not want to see any more of, we will, one day, get rid of. We want to achieve culture change for the very next person whom we know, before they end up in a facility, for whatever reason. We are not, realistically, going to make everyone’s life a quality life. We can make it better, but the quality they personally achieve depends on their unwillingness to settle for less. They must, as we are, get out there and change the way things will happen for them. They must determine that they are going to do whatever they can to change things for their children, relatives and friends, and in so doing, change it for themselves.
Here’s to positive change.
This comment taught me something and it will influence my thinking going forward.
Comments are the equivalent of a blog’s respiratory system.