aging


Setting Generational Priorities

In the mid-1980s, just as I was becoming interested in health care for the elderly and the future of Medicare, Samuel Preston, a distinguished social scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, give a 1984 presidential address to the Population Association of America. His topic was the growing disparity between health and other resources for children […]

Why the Elderly Should Support Health Care Rationing

On the face of it, it would seem preposterous to argue that the over 65 population should support health care rationing. After all, both Democrats and Republicans regularly pledge to protect Medicare from any changes and attack the other party for threatening the program. And in a 2012 Pew Foundation poll, over 65ers by a […]

Memory Loss

Talking to my friends and looking at my own reactions, I believe that memory loss is one of the most feared disabilities of aging.  Since, as we age, most of us experience some degree of memory loss, it is easy to wonder if what we are experiencing are the first steps to dementia.  Witnessing someone […]

How HIPAA Interferes with Caregiving for the Elderly

Although it was not the intent of the law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) has been interpreted and misapplied as a barrier to communication with the very people who have a deep and often lifelong relationship with elderly  patients  and who will be responsible for managing or providing care in […]

Acceptance

Aging requires the acceptance of some inevitable truths about oneself and about life. We are no longer able to imagine an infinite future. Our mortality is assured. Progressively, we will lose our energy, our friends, our cherished activities and the identity we once knew.  If you are like me, you don’t suddenly arrive at this […]

Treating Older People in the Emergency Department

In my 16 years in Emergency Medicine in England it has become increasingly common to see people over 85 years of age. This is an experience shared with ED colleagues from several other countries. Even the proud near-centurion awaiting a “letter from the Queen” is a not infrequent visitor to my department. EDs are increasingly […]

Balancing adequacy and sustainability: lessons from the Global Aging Preparedness Index

The world stands on the threshold of a stunning demographic transformation brought about by falling fertility and rising life expectancy. It is called global aging, and it will challenge the ability of many countries to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing too big a burden on the young. The GAP […]

Japan – and then there was one

Population: 127.4m 65 years and over: 23.9% Life expectancy at birth: 83.9 years Population in 2050: 99.7m Everybody knows that Japan is ground zero for global ageing. The youngest of the developed countries as recently as the mid-1970s, it is now the oldest – and its age wave will continue to roll in for decades […]

Preparing for the Final Exam of Life

Recently, I was taken aback by being asked to deliver the memorial eulogy for our departed classmates at our upcoming 50th year High School Reunion. Why me, I asked? Isn’t there a Priest or Rabbi in our class who is used to doing something like this? That question not only did not seem to matter […]

Struggling With One’s Age

I see now the problems I experience confronting old age. Of all things, the words of literary critics, and more generally, the function of literary criticism, clarify the struggle I face practically every morning in one manner or another, as I feel the culture slipping away from me like a dock finally unleashed from its […]