We rarely take time to dwell on this, but at some future point, many of us will need assistance as physical disabilities, chronic illness, frailty, or dementia take hold.
Of all the healthcare issues that spark controversy, extreme emotion and passionate advocacy, the idea of physician-assisted dying arguably tops the list. It’s not hard to understand why. Faced with the prospect of intractable pain and prolonged suffering, many people believe that…
We all know how important it is to incorporate physical exercise in our lives to help us age well. It’s good for our bodies, of course, but also for our spirits. It raises our sense of well-being, perhaps enhancing our connection to nature and improving our social lives.
Do you dream about skydiving some day? Or maybe climbing an imposing mountain? How about spending a month in Tahiti?
I could probably live to age 120 or so. Or at least I should, if the reports of many, many health studies could be taken at face value.
You may not think you’re susceptible to magical thinking, but don’t discount the possibility that it will make its presence felt when you least expect it.
Last year I experienced one of the great, unexpected joys of grand-motherhood. One lunchtime I introduced my then 18-month old grandson to my meatballs.
When I became a hospice volunteer, I imagined – considering my background as a reporter and writer – that I might be able to help people who wanted to write or record their life stories.
I thought it would help people make sense of the joys and struggles in their lives. Or it would help them leave their stories as a gift for family and friends – particularly for younger generations – so that they would be known and remembered.
Over the past year, several people I know have been diagnosed with serious illnesses. They’ve undergone equally serious treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. For them and for their loved ones, it was a time for “all hands on deck.”
However, I believe that a number of hands were missing.
Shortly after my then-85-year-old mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, my brother and I accompanied her to meetings with several specialists. We were trying to determine what, if any, treatment would make the most sense for her.