Louise Aronson

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Louise Aronson

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San Francisco, The United States
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October 2012


Louise Aronson is a writer, leading geriatrician, educator, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the author of the New York Times bestseller Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, and Reimagining Life. A graduate of Harvard Medical School and the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, Dr. Aronson has received the Gold Professorship in Humanism in Medicine, the California Homecare Physician of the Year award, and the American Geriatrics Society Clinician-Teacher of the Year award. Her writing appears in publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, Discover Magazine, JAMA, Bellevue Literary Review and the New England Journal of Medicine and has earned her four Pushcart nominat ...more

Elderhood and the Pulitzer Prizes

On the afternoon of Monday, May 4 2020, I was in clinic well, pandemic clinic. I was sitting at my home desk talking to a patient via Zoom on my smartphone while charting into our electronic medical record on my computer. Suddenly, a flurry of emails and other alerts flashed on the upper right of my computer screen and texts began appearing on my phone.

I registered this as: unusual.

Because we ar

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Published on May 05, 2020 09:25
Average rating: 3.87 · 1,480 ratings · 290 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
Elderhood: Redefining Aging...

3.92 avg rating — 995 ratings — published 2019 — 7 editions
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A History of the Present Il...

3.76 avg rating — 485 ratings — published 2013 — 6 editions
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The Soul of Care:...
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In the Dream House
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by Carmen Maria Machado (Goodreads Author)
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Louise Aronson is now friends with David Dobbs
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The Soul of Care by Arthur Kleinman
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In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
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Elderhood by Louise Aronson
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An Odyssey by Daniel Mendelsohn
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“Disease in man is never exactly the same as disease in an experimental animal, for in man the disease at once affects and is affected by what we call the emotional life (and, I would add, social environment). Thus, the physician who attempts to take care of a patient while he neglects this factor is as unscientific as the investigator who neglects to control all the conditions that may affect his experiment … One of the essential qualities of the clinician is interest in humanity, for the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.”
Louise Aronson, Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

“To most people’s surprise, a large study of the United States found that midlife is the time of least happiness, greatest anxiety, and lowest life satisfaction23 for both men and women. Things begin looking up around age sixty—and not because the “younger old” are skewing the curve. The Gallup World Poll, which studies countries large and small, poor and rich, agrarian and industrialized, finds that life satisfaction assumes a U-shape across life24 in wealthier countries but different patterns elsewhere. Data from the United States and Western Europe confirm that most people are around sixty before they achieve levels of well-being comparable to those of twenty-year-olds,25 and rates climb thereafter. The increased well-being of old people seems made up of both declines in negatives and increases in positives. In one recent study, anxiety marched steadily upward26 from the teenage years to its greatest heights between ages thirty-five and fifty-nine. In the early sixties, it dropped markedly, falling again at sixty-five, then staying at the life span’s lowest levels thereafter. Conversely, sixty- to sixty-four-year-olds were happier and more satisfied with their lives than people aged twenty to fifty-nine, but not nearly as happy as those aged sixty-five and over. Even those over age ninety were happier than the middle-aged. As the poet Mary Ruefle has said, “You should never fear aging because you have absolutely no idea the absolute freedom in aging; it’s astounding and mind-blowing. You no longer care what people think. As soon as you become invisible—which happens much more quickly to women than men—there is a freedom that’s astounding. And all your authority figures drift away. Your parents die. And yes, of course, it’s heartbreaking, but it’s also wonderfully freeing.”27 In sum, depending on the measure, by their later sixties or early seventies, older adults surpass younger adults on all measures, showing less stress, depression, worry, and anger, and more enjoyment, happiness, and satisfaction. In these and similar studies, people between sixty-five and seventy-nine years old report the highest average levels of personal well-being, followed by those over eighty, and then those who are eighteen to twenty-one years old.”
Louise Aronson, Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

“imagine its early years, and if I’m lucky, decades, much like the best parts of midlife: the solid sense of who I am and how I want to spend my time, the decreased volume of the sorts of ambitions easily”
Louise Aronson, Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

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