Apr 14, 2010
Two Thoughts on Aging
Thank you to the many people who shared their concern and well-wishes about my aunt's hospitalization on Sunday night. Diagnosis: hairline fracture in the hip -- not enough for surgery, but enough for pain. After 48 hours she is back at her assisted living facility, which is good. And yet -- without giving too much detail -- her risk for more falls and worse injuries continues and will likely increase as she ages further unless something like a Miracle occurs.
Some years ago, I heard (on the radio? among friends?) that "we think we need money for our old age, but what we really need is security." Security can come in many forms: family, friends and community can be the critical things that keep us safe and warmly held, if we build the kind of family, friends and community that would commit to doing that. But these seem like harder things to build, and at the very least they require much more trust. So instead, we look to money or government, both of which might keep us safe, but have a harder time keeping us warm.
In How Good Do We Have to Be? Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote:
The fifth of the Ten Commandments bids us honor our parents "that your days may be long upon the earth." ." I am not sure that people who honor their parents live longer than people who don't. Maybe what the Bible is suggesting is that, if we fashion a society in which the elderly are cherished and taken seriously, we will be able to look forward to growing old ourselves instead of dreading it. We will not have to lie about our ages, dye our hair, visit the plastic surgeon, because growing old is an embarrassment. We will not shun the elderly for fear of becoming like them. We will revere them for the living lesson they represent.
More on this, perhaps, in another post. Meanwhile -- thank you all for any continued good wishes for my aunt and her care team, which includes my exceptional mother and father and many more folks who often try very hard.
We are looking for any assist you can give us. Wether it is with your facility or info on yet another.
Thank you for your time.'
Posted by: assisted living atlanta | Apr 7, 2011 2:34:42 AM