Leah

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Atul Gawande
“This was not the average retirement community, but even in an average one rent runs $32,000 a year. Entry fees are typically $60,000 to $120,000 on top of that. Meanwhile, the median income of people eighty and older is only about $15,000. More than half of the elderly living in long-term-care facilities run through their entire savings and have to go on government assistance—welfare—in order to afford it. Ultimately, the average American spends a year or more of old age disabled and living in a nursing home (at more than five times the yearly cost of independent living),”
Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Atul Gawande
“We want autonomy for ourselves and safety for those we love.” That remains the main problem and paradox for the frail. “Many of the things that we want for those we care about are things that we would adamantly oppose for ourselves because they would infringe upon our sense of self.”

“It’s the rare child who is able to think, ‘Is this place what Mom would want or like or need?’ It’s more like they’re seeing it through their own lens.” The child asks, “Is this a place I would be comfortable leaving Mom?”
Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Atul Gawande
“The risk of a fatal car crash with a driver who’s eighty-five or older is more than three times higher than it is with a teenage driver. The very old are the highest-risk drivers on the road”
Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Laurie Halse Anderson
“the only thing that helped me breathe was opening a book”
Laurie Halse Anderson, SHOUT

Atul Gawande
“In one of her most influential studies, she and her team tracked the emotional experiences of nearly two hundred people over years of their lives. The subjects spanned a broad range of backgrounds and ages. (They were from eighteen to ninety-four years old when they entered the study.) At the beginning of the study and then every five years, the subjects were given a beeper to carry around twenty-four hours a day for one week. They were randomly paged thirty-five times over the course of that week and asked to choose from a list all the emotions they were experiencing at that exact moment.
If Maslow’s hierarchy was right, then the narrowing of life runs against people’s greatest sources of fulfillment and you would expect people to grow unhappier as they age. But Carstensen’s research found exactly the opposite. The results were unequivocal. Far from growing unhappier, people reported more positive emotions as they aged. They became less prone to anxiety, depression, and anger. They experienced trials, to be sure, and more moments of poignancy—that is, of positive and negative emotion mixed together. But overall, they found living to be a more emotionally satisfying and stable experience as time passed, even as old age narrowed the lives they led.
The findings raised a further question. If we shift as we age toward appreciating everyday pleasures and relationships rather than toward achieving, having, and getting, and if we find this more fulfilling, then why do we take so long to do it? Why do we wait until we’re old? The common view was that these lessons are hard to learn. Living is a kind of skill. The calm and wisdom of old age are achieved over time.
Carstensen was attracted to a different explanation. What if the change in needs and desires has nothing to do with age per se? Suppose it merely has to do with perspective—your personal sense of how finite your time in this world is. This idea was regarded in scientific circles as somewhat odd. But Carstensen had her own reason for thinking that one’s personal perspective might be centrally important”
Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

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