My Response to “The Way We Age Now”

According to the article “The Way We Age Now”, “medicine has increased the ranks of the elderly.” Due to the advancement of science and technology, different types of medicine have been introduced in the market. These medicines have been successful in diminishing the health problems of the elderly people. As they are getting more alternatives for their physical obstacles in their old age, they are able to live more. The life span of people has increased due to the availability of medicines for each health problem.
In my view, increasing our life span is one of the major problems in today’s context. According to a U.S. survey, the population of old people is the same as the population of children, whereas that of working adults is half of that. One of the disadvantages of medicine is it does not increase the physical strength of the old people necessary for the development of a country. In addition, old people have to depend on others for their survival, so the more the old people, the more they need care from others. As the interest of people in taking care of the old ones has been decreasing each day, the number of geriatricians has been decreasing.
Similarly, the invention of medicine for raising our life span should be controlled because we have already seen the consequences of the growing population of the old age groups. Next, the more we live, the more we would get trouble. In old age, the emotional and physical changes often need extra care. Also, the old ones are likely to be vulnerable to several diseases. Therefore, much money is wasted seeking doctors and hospitals. These are the reasons why the children of elderly parents are likely to send their parents to old age homes. If we look at it in another point of view, we can see how medicine makes people struggle with sorrow and loneliness. Old people under medication may live longer, but they may feel alone because they may not find the company of the people around them easy to cope with. Therefore, even though medicines have been increasing the life span of people, it does not guarantee the same physical and mental strength as in youth. Although medicine has increased the life span of the elderly, it hasn’t been able to make old age easier.

Responnse to “The Way We Age Now”

I read the article, “The Way We Age Now.” As I went through the article, I, suddenly, happened to think that I am too aging in every second of time. The more I read about the changes in different body parts, the more I felt I am aging. I moved my fingers through my hair thinking this hair will turn gray one day. Similarly, I felt my eyes lovingly wondering, “What will happen if I am not able to see with my eyes?” A series of questions arose in my mind regarding other body organs.

However, I reminisced about “The Pursuit of Immortality” that I read in Reading and Writing class last week. I thought, “The scientists are researching and experimenting to find out tactics to alter the ‘natural law of death.’ They have made progress much further. Therefore, there must be ways of not aging too as it is very simple matter in comparison to the challenge to death.” Later, I came to realize that aging can be decelerated, but cannot be ceased utterly. Moreover, we can remain healthy and live independent life even in our seventies and eighties.

In the article, Atul has mentioned about “Geriatrics.” Atul has supported his arguments giving an example of a geriatrician, Felix Silverstone. Felix was in his eighties, but still, he was robust, healthy, and independent. Most surprisingly, he supported and looked after his blind wife though he, himself, is in his eighties. While I was reading this, I was interrogating with my mind, “Felix’s wife was blind due to aging, but he is still strong enough to help and support his wife and even to drive car. From this anecdote, may it be implied that aging occurs only to women? Why was only his wife blind? Why not he?” In the course of reading, I found out that there is a very easy way of not getting old – of keeping our body parts as they are. The tactic is that we should have of a wish of not getting old and a strong determination to make that wish come true. Here, determination constitutes maintaining balance diet, doing regular exercise, and doing regular health checkups.

So far as I know, there are also medical and surgical methods not to age. Hence, people in the present era age in the speed of a turtle pace.

Response to “The Way We Age Now”

What would happen to ourselves when we reach at the last stage of our life? I saw many older people including at their elderly age and perceived that that age maybe the rude part of one’s whole life. Because then our body no longer support ourselves as they do before. It is natural process that we will lose our teeth, have gray touch in our hair, and lose the strength of our body. If we think about our aging process then it seems very strange to us how we become older and have gradual change in our body and mind simultaneously which lead us to our last stage in our lives. I can remember my grandmother who was died at her 64 age. She was turned weaker physically because of having so many problems like high blood-pressure, severe body aching, muscle and backbone pain by this age. It was so tough for her to cope up with this age because she was afraid of death which made him mentally weak as it affected her physical condition. When I read this article written by Atul Gawande about the process of our aging and the significance of geriatrics then I realized that we should take care of our elderly people in order to increase their confidence about their age and manage them to confront their age which comes naturally but creates lots of sufferings in both physically and mentally. We can do this with the help of geriatricians.

Different types of diseases attack our elder adults and increase their sufferings because their bodies begin to lose the strength gradually with the time which are working and supporting them in their whole life restlessly. For example, we often tired doing lots of work day by day. Then we sometimes give ourselves a break to recharge and upgrade our energy level. Similarly, our bodies are like a machine which work and work and gradually tired and begin to give up their tasks. It is a natural process which we all face once if we will alive. It is geriatrics, a specialized field for supporting elderly people, which is beneficial for them to heal their sufferings. Geriatricians are specialized for taking care of elderly people and focus their needs while passing their aging process. According to this article, there is a surprising fact that geriatrics is a dying field since most of the medical school students are not interested to take geriatrics as their field of working. I would like to agree with the theme of this article from this point of view that we need more geriatricians to support our elderly people as if they don’t feel upset and capable to enjoy their lives till their last breathe.

My Response to ” The Way We Are Age Now”

People who are young are capable to do everything. They can do hard work and are able to struggle with all difficulties, but when people gradually become old, they lose their capability to do hard work. They also lose their power and dominating others become a memory for them. They become dependent on their younger for doing most of the daily chores and they are also economically dependent on them. “They Way We Age Now” is the article by Atul Gawande where he wrote about ageing and how a healthy young man gradually becomes an old man. He described about the physical; and mental changes if a person when he or she becomes an old person. When I was reading this article I reminisced about my grandmother’s story about her young age. When I was seven or eight years old, I asked her why she had not teeth and why she could not chew like us. She used to smile to hear such kind of question from me and told that when she was young she could break a betel nut by her teeth. I became surprised then. One day, I asked her why she could not sew my tops when it torn. She replied me that she could not see well. I thought that she was lying, because I could see everything and I wondered why she could not. Then she told about herself that when she was young, she used to sew “ Nakshi Katha” where she sew various colorful designs. I also used to ask her why she did not play with me. I was the only child of my parents then and my grandmother was the only companion of me. So it made me sad when she did not agree to play with me. Then she used to start to tell her story that then she could not play because her bones were very weak but when she was young she used to race with her friends and always she was the winner. Mr. Gawande also focused these things in his article that it’s people’s destiny to become old and lose their power.

Old people are the people who once ruled at their young age. Because of aging, they become powerless, but we should never neglect them and should try to assist them as we who are young now will be old one day.

My Response to “The Way We Age Now”

            “The Way We Age Now,” which was written by Atul Gawande, gives us an image that what a person will be when he or she becomes old from the view of biology. In addition, Gawande has written several pages to tell two stories about two old people – Jean Gavrilles and Felix Silverstone, from which we can see the significance of geriatricians.

            I know there is a fact that we can’t prevent growing, so we can’t refuse to become old even though there have been many people who try to find out the secret of immortality. We all follow the way that we age as what Gawande described in the essay. However, with the development of technology, more medicine has been produced to care for people’s heath. Moreover, more people can access to medical care with the development of their living levels. Hence, people’s life spans have been expanded, to some extent. In this condition, people can live longer, but they still can’t avoid the suffering of teeth loosing or high blood pressure or other problems. For example, in the cases of Jean and Felix, both of them are around 85 years old, which shows that their life spans are great. Nevertheless, they have to face the decline of their bodies and mind. As a consequence, people start to think how to make the old live easier. In other words, people manage to avert some worst effects that the old would suffer. In the story of Jean, I learned that Jean’s life became better after she took the plans given by Bludau who was a geriatrician. Similarly, Felix, who himself was a geriatrician, could manage his life very well though he was very old. (He lived independently, cared for his disabled wife, and continued his research). I know both of them started the care of themselves from the small things of their lives, such as what to eat, how to eat and so on. On the other hand, not all people have this kind of knowledge; thus, the demand for geriatricians becomes larger and larger.

            Although immortality is a dream that most people have, living easier is also a thing that people wish for when they are old. In my opinion, when people search some ways to expand life spans, they should pay attention to how to live better as well, which I think is more practical in our lives. Therefore, I hope there will be more geriatricians, and there will be more people can suffer less and enjoy more during the last period of their lives. “The night is lovely, isn’t it?” maybe more people can say that.

My doubt regarding our aging

After reading the article “The Way We Age Now, Medicine has increased the ranks of elderly. Can it make old age any easier?” by Atul Gawande, I knew a lot about how we grow old and how medical ad has averted the increase in death rate. Before reading this article, I used to think that the average life span of our ancestor is longer than ours. We Bhutanese believe that our generation will sustain in three steps. First generation’s average life span will be one thousand; it was during our ancestors’ time. Second generation’s average life span will be one hundred, it’s at present. And the third generation’s average life span will be ten years; it will be in the coming future. However, the article ridiculously reversed my notion about the aging.

As I read the article, I reminisced about my days with my grandmother who is 73 years old. She always used to complain about her chronic health problems. She would use a long stick to endorse herself while moving around. She would eat softer foods such as chicken soup, omelets, and beaten rice.

I agree with Atul that our chewing ability declines as we grow older, our hair starts to grow gray, age spots starts to grow on our skin and our eyes become weak. This is because I have seen all this transitions in my grandmother’s life.

However, I have seen my friend’s grandmother still being vigorous as in the past. She is 73 years old too. I can easily discriminate between two grandmother’s lives. My grandmother looks more old and weak than my friend’s grandmother. My friend’s grandmother still collects firewood from the forest. She still works in the farmland. She can even chew dry cheese. The severity of her alertness is ridiculously greater than my grandmothers. And the most peculiar thing about my friend’s grandmother is that she always drinks hard drinks after dinner. She affirmed that hard drinks stimulates her strength and makes her stronger.  Do you believe it?

I understood that we can’t stop aging of our bodies and minds but I am still dubious about why people of same age have differences in their aging? Is it due do diet? Or is it due to genes? In the article it was mentioned that inheritance has surprisingly little influence on longevity. Then is it due to the way we spend our time? I asked my grandmother about her childhood days. She said that she used to be a very hardworking woman just like my friend’s grandmother. In fact, they used to do their domestic and farm work together. What might be the secret then?