children


Aging in Place in a Bleak Landscape

Somewhere near the middle of Alexander Payne’s new movie Nebraska, a young boy rides up on a bicycle to take a photo of Woody Grant for the local newspaper.  Woody has, or so he believes, won a million dollars in a merchandising sweepstakes. He has become a celebrity in Hawthorne, the small fictional Nebraska town […]

Learning from Our Elders

A recent phone call led me to reflect on how over 65ers can help younger folks learn about aging. Three months ago I received a call from Langley Danowitz, daughter of Emily Lublin, a long time patient of mine, who had died in 2000 at age 84. (Langley had seen me quoted in a New York […]

A Letter to Our Grandchildren

Dear beloved grandchildren, As I get older, I think more about what I want to leave you in the way of advice. Of course, I have been doing some of that all along. My son Evan thinks that I “opine” too much, but I thought it might help to have things in writing that you […]

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 […]

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 […]

Reimagining Geriatrics

A little over a year ago, I found myself burning out and realized that my work life was unsustainable.  I’d been working at a Federally Qualified Health Center, and had become the site’s medical director a few months before. I was practicing as a primary care doc, trying to improve our clinical workflows, problem-solving around […]

Suing Your Children

During a recent teaching trip to Singapore I learned about the country’s fascinating Maintenance of Parents Act, which went into effect in 1996.  The law allows Singapore residents over 60 who are unable to maintain themselves adequately to claim maintenance from their children, either in a lump-sum payment or in the form of monthly allowances. […]

Parents Forever

For many of my class reunions, lengthy questionnaires were sent out to get some idea of what everyone was doing and how their lives were turning out. There were questions about politics, marital status and fidelity, income, job satisfaction, health status, and a few others. The one category always missing was one of intense interest […]

Should We Accept Kidney Donations from our Children?

I’ve been looking into the phenomenon of organ donation from children to parents. Since I believe our national approach to Medicare injures future generations on behalf of us in the over 65 cohort, I wanted to see how we’re dealing with the most tangible form of intergenerational transfer – organ donation.

Trying to Practice What I Preached: Helping my Parents at the End of Their Lives

Once again, the challenge of how to constrain rising health care expenditures has caught the public interest, stimulated by concerns over rising federal debt and limited ability to generate tax revenues. I recently chronicled my unsuccessful efforts at stimulating medical cost containment from both academic and foundation positions (1971–2002) in the April 23, 2011 issue […]