That’s an easy question.
I’ve simply seen too much.
Experiences impact us and can change the trajectory of our lives. It certainly has mine:
• My father died suddenly at the family Thanksgiving table just shy of one year after retiring. Preventable? I believe possibly so.
• My mother was taken from our family by dementia, eight long years of caregiving in our homes before she passed. Preventable? In her case, absolutely so.
• My in-laws fared better until they entered their 90s, but I remember their frailness, the seemingly unending hours they spent staring out a window or staring at the carpet, the little joy or pleasure in their lives. Preventable? Yes.
• Clients call for help after “falling through the cracks” in their health services or when a sudden illness or accident throws the whole family into crisis. Yes, much of this is preventable.
• Many clients move into a facility designed to make life easier for their family and fuller, richer for them, but instead they run out of money while sitting alone in their room. Yes, preventable.
It’s time to Rethink Aging. It’s time we learn to finish well, living a rich, fulfilling, purposeful life, right up to the end. It is not a dream. It IS already happening all over the world. It can happen for us too. Who’s in?