aging tagged posts

Why Aged People Should Not Be President

Watching Robert Mueller’s halting, tentative, sometimes fumbling responses to being grilled for hours by highly charged (and much younger) congressmembers today, I was struck anew with my increasing conviction that past, say, age 70, people should no longer try to become leaders of their country.

Call me ageist if you will, but my reasoning is not that I don’t think elderly people have much to offer the world (so long as they keep their wits about them). It’s just that ideally, they move into a senior advisory role, a steadying hand, a source of wisdom and historical perspective in the ear of younger, more energetic leaders who benefit greatly from their senior confidantes.

Mueller, just short of 75, looked and sounded somewhat lost a good deal of the time yesterday over a grueling 6-hour stretch as he faced two different committees, half of their members hostile and yelling at him from the get-go, ...

Read More

Life, Aging, Death, Self: Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal”

The problem isn’t so much that in the end, we die. It’s in all the time leading up to the end. Not death, but severe decline is what puts fear in our hearts. A long debilitating illness or just aging that cuts us off progressively (regressively, come to think of it) from all that we love.

We all peak physically at some 30 years of age, but robustness and increased life satisfaction can persist for decades longer as we go about building our lives and come to accept our aging and its limitations with equanimity and often, good doses of humor.

But the decline does march on, as inexorable as fall following summer.

At a certain point, we stop running, then hiking, then walking without assistance, then walking altogether.

We stop driving long distances, then at night, then at all.

No more foreign travel, then it’s no to flying anywhere, then no more leaving our town, our house, and finally our room (except t...

Read More

Envy and Eternal Youth

Books on aging are all the rage at Amazon. As well they should be, because there are so damn many of us aging Boomers, and we tend to have money to buy the books that tell us how to “age well” and keep our playfulness and maintain our memories and our balance and our joints and our portfolios and our erections and moistness and thirst for life, life, and more life. And still we die.

Can’t someone do something about that?

(Actually, they’re trying—figuring out the exact mechanisms of cell death occupies many learned scientists at our august aging institutes, and when that code is finally cracked and reversed, we can all say hello to the ethical, economic and environmental dilemmas of eternal life. Count me among those glad to bypass the option…)

I was in line at the Whole Foods meat counter recently, standing between two late 20s men and a matronly black woman...

Read More