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Being Mortal


An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life...
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Discuss Being Mortal by Atul Gawande:
What did you discover about the physiology of aging? What is your attitude toward aging?

Created: 09/01/17

Replies: 7

Posted Sep. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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What did you discover about the physiology of aging? What is your attitude toward aging?

What did you discover about the physiology of aging? What is your attitude toward aging?


Posted Sep. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 324

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RE: What did you discover about the physiology of aging? What is your attitude toward aging?

Much of what I learned in this chapter was new - and depressing. Our culture tries to tell us that we can "beat" aging - but in reality, we can't. For example, your brain's going to shrink and there's nothing you can do about that. Playing Lumosity games and doing crosswords isn't likely to help as much as we're led to believe they can. That's not to say we should give up, but we should also accept that sometimes there are some aspects of aging we can't stop.


Posted Sep. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 172

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RE: What did you discover about the physiology of aging? What is your attitude toward aging?

On page 29, I found the information about teeth very interesting. Of course I knew of the changes our teeth go through but I didn't realize that experts can gauge a person's age within 5 years by examining a single tooth. I was shocked to read that in industrialized countries (like the US), at age sixty, people have lost on average, a third of their teeth.
My attitude toward aging changes with each decade of my own life. I now understand more easily what my mother at age 80 is going through. I hope I can keep a positive outlook in the future.


Posted Sep. 19, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janp

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 31

RE: What did you discover about the physiology of aging? What is your attitude toward aging?

For me, it was about the loss of dexterity in the hands. I started experiencing it probably at age 60 and remembered my parents having it, never thinking I would as well. I didn't really know why it happened until I read this chapter. I agree, also, that's is shocking that by age 60 most people have lost a third of their teeth. Fortunately still have all mine!


Posted Sep. 19, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
swchis39

Join Date: 09/26/12

Posts: 54

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RE: What did you discover about the physiology of aging? What is your attitude toward aging?

As a geronotological nurse, now retired, the book was accurate and relevant. Luckily I have aged well for 78 years but clearly recognize that death will come. I hope that when the time comes I will be able to forgo heroic measures and have the opportunit for hospice care. Death is not frightening to me but loss of contrl and pain does.


Posted Sep. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 93

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RE: What did you discover about the physiology of aging? What is your attitude toward aging?

I learned that falls can be one of the most serious things to happen to older people. I'm hoping this makes me get out and walk more, work on my balance, and tell my husband to get off the ladder!


Posted Sep. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marianned

Join Date: 07/02/15

Posts: 46

RE: What did you discover about the physiology of aging? What is your attitude toward aging?

What I learned tracks with Kim’s answer, that we might be able to slow the aging process up to a point by what we do - exercising our bodies and minds. I’ll play bridge as long as I possible can because I find that it challenges the mind. Many of the women I play with now are in their upper 80s, and a couple are 90+. Falls concern me, so I know I need to exercise and work on balance. Still, the inevitable will come in a way we cannot predict. I learned that I will need to accept what happens with grace and reach out for help when needed. I learned that one thing I can do now is show kindness and compassion towards those even older than I am who already have physiological limitations. All of us also have the responsibility to teach younger generations about aging. I recently read about a doctor who taught her daughter’s high school class the basics of Gawande’s book because she thought that was as important as sex education.


Posted Oct. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kbschaffer

Join Date: 03/20/17

Posts: 8

RE: What did you discover about the physiology of aging? What is your attitude toward aging?

Having studied gerontology in my graduate work I always focused on the ordinary people I saw doing what I thought were extraordinary things. It turns out that they were often doing what they always did. It was just that they were still doing those things at 75, 80, even 90. Yet behind their active lives, they practiced impression management. Folks outside of their intimate world did not see the aches and pains, the trouble seeing or hearing, the frightening moments of memory loss. And so I thought aging would just be carrying on doing what I always did. Alas, as I grow older I realize how hard impression management really is.


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