Home > Life, etcetera > living in a an aging world

living in a an aging world

Monday, 4 December 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

The reality of our world is that we are all aging. That’s right! HMOs, PPOs and Medicare all get the bulk of our business. Despite our attempts to give to charities and spend money like a consumeritic monger, our insurances are getting the bulk of it! Now, what does that have to do w/ us? Our world? Or, aging? Well, reader, its an indication that our aging population is growing. Now, the point of this post is not to provide evidence of the aging community, but rather talk about the emotional drama of aging. I’ll provide a personal example.

I received a phone call that my maternal grandmother is hospitalized. She apparently has been diagnosed with a severe bladder infection, which has plagued her for several months. She has not mentioned this to anyone [any of her family, that is], and so the physician who treated her in the ER was quite stern w/ her.

After thinking about this for a bit, I realized that despite the reality that this community is growing [in terms of aging more and more], the aging community is not accepting it on some level. Now, my grandmother is aware of her age, but there is no discussion around her age and the limitations of her age. When I speak w/ my mother, she always proclaims “I don’t want to be like that!” I think “like that” is a reference to what she experiences in her mother as stubborn and resistant to help. At least that is how she terms it.

I think this is a difficult topic. How do we care for our differently abled persons, in particular our aging community? How do we not usurp their agency [if we can do that even] while attempting to care for them? What is the best response to our very humble and earnest desire to help them?

When I worked at the hospital I witnessed countless family members in tears over their aging parent or loved one. They deeply concerned for their loved one and only wanted to help them. But, their approach was sometimes not inviting–it was about partnering w/ their aging loved one during this phase of life. Perhaps that is the better question as we think about what it means to care for and live in an aging world. How can we partner w/ our aging loved ones and encourage their voice and agency in caring for them?

Any ideas? Hurry! Time flies and I get old!

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