Throughout history, elderly people have been revered as bearers of wisdom and promoters of cultural traditions. In ancient times, few people actually lived to an old age, making those that did especially valued. Today, with life expectancy in most countries exceeding 70, we are confronted with many problems resulting from so many old people among us. With the vast majority of people now living well past retirement age, this has given many modern societies a serious financial burden. Older people’s increasing lack of mobility, frequent and/or chronic illnesses and increasing tendency to have accidents of one kind or another are also serious health and safety challenges.
So this month, we will take a critical look at the problems of the elderly. Most of us either have or had elderly parents or are elderly ourselves, so it is critical that we all deal with these issues.
A really complex topic, as the details of Deb’s story amply demonstrate.
My Dad died about 18 years ago, after 5 years of battling with lung cancer and a hip replace gone seriously wrong (redone 4 times and still left him wheelchair bound). Dad died at home, in the early hours of the morning following my 42nd birthday.
My mum died about 16 years ago, today would have been her 97th birthday. After dad died, she decided to move in with my sister (I lived next door to mum and dad since leaving home, and was the one always there for them up until then). She had many battles, angina, emphysema, lung cancer and some serious accidents. She was tough, and died in hospice care, after she became too disabled for my sister to manage.
Ailsa’s dad got sever dementia about 4 years ago, and died two years ago. Her mum remembers who we are sometimes. Ailsa calls every day, and we visit as often as possible – though it is a 7 hour drive each way to get there.
I look forward to an end of age related loss of functionality.
One cannot remove death, accidents happen.
And one can remove disability.
I know in logic it is possible to stop the loss of function historically normally associated with old age, and restore my body to the vigour of mid twenties indefinitely. It will happen, and it may not be quick enough for me.
Much of the disease and disability we see seems to me to be directly the result of diet.
Sugar should come with a health warning.
It comes with so many problems.
We would all be a lot better off on a diet that is mostly (over 90% in terms of total calories) vegetable, and mostly raw, and spray free.
As most of you know, I am vegan now, and I am very confident that it is the combination of vegan and high dose vitamin C that is largely responsible for my still being here (and not being dead with terminal cancer).
Most people get only cooked food, devoid of vitamin C (temperatures over 60C effectively destroy it).
The quality of life for most people would be vastly improved with 2g Vit C twice daily, more if any cold or flu starts.
I plan on being very old (many thousands of years).
Money is the biggest obstacle.
It is a scarcity based measure of value.
Anything truly abundant has no monetary value, like air.
So thinking about things in terms of money ensures most people experience scarcity.
It is possible to imagine living in abundance, with advanced automation supplying all essentials to everyone.
Being old doesn’t have to mean being a burden on anyone.
Sure, right now, in practice, it often does, and that will change, and very quickly when it does.
There are certainly many issues, many challenges, and they can all be met.
We have lots of talented creative people, and mostly they are constrained in what they can do by the monetary systems we have in place (rather than by any real inability to supply the goods and services those people need to work at their creative best.