The Aging dilemma!

How often have you come across someone that you have known is getting frail, falling or not figuring out that he/she needs help?
Help?? What kind of help, when, where, which, who and why? It is alarming as much to the senior as it is to the people that are the community of the senior. Whose idea is it anyway? ………….all these and more are now adding chaos to the senior or their family or the community!

I have seen and followed many seniors during my fellowship days, at the urgent care centers, where I worked in CA and Hawaii and in my private practice………over the years. My friend Jean S was growing older, and there were days I asked her if she needed my help and she undeniably said ‘NO’! I noticed she once needed help at the grocery at the Japanese store, and as I pushed her cart for her, she seemed to be hiding her deficits, away from me with her unfazed smiling looks. Some day grandma, you will need help, I mumbled to myself as I walked away. Little did I know then, that a few years later she would have a stroke and be left incapacitated!

How could this all happen and one cannot do anything, I thought as I walked out of my patient encounter one day. Something was missing, and we need to desperately bridge that gap! Why is it that we seek help at the last minute, or just before/ after it is too late? Why do we feel we can do it all? What makes someone feel this way, while others feel the other way? Who makes the decisions? Why and how are some people coming to terms with their disabilities much easier than other people? What makes some people vulnerable to others’ decisions before they need one?

Lessons learned: The answer lies in the experience, knowledge mindset of the individual, community, and the world! There are deeply ingrained values, cultures, thoughts, peer pressures, sanctity, visions and what not? What we need to learn is that the only way is not the old way? People are living longer and want to lead a life that is enriching, free, purposeful and holistic. Aging is coined in various shapes, sizes, colors, dimensions in different parts of this world and not all rules apply to all! There needs to be a tolerance for diversity and respect will soon follow. Patience, perseverance and practicality makes things happen and ………………………….to offer help when needed, to walk away when it is not time, that is where the delicate balance lies.

Thank you, from the desk of Health Aim Inc/ Purnima Sreenivasan