Thankfully Fabulous Friday, And What Comes Next

I’m not officially participating in Jenn’s Thankfully Reading Weekend–although I will be very thankful for any reading time I get this weekend!–but today’s post comes via her and Michelle.

Michelle asks what makes today a Fabulous Friday. Well, the fact I slept way past 5 AM and am writing this post while still in bad certainly helps, but it’s mostly because of this thing that happened yesterday: 
The walker is something new that came home with him. There are a few other new things and changes coming his way after two falls within a week and four days in the hospital, and we’re having a family meeting today to figure some of them out. With that in mind, my answer to Jenn’s Thankfully Reading Weekend prompt today,
would have to be Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End:
Bookended by personal reflections on the very different end-of-life experiences of his grandfather and his father, Being Mortal  explores various ways in which modern, developed societies deal with their aging populations. The combined effects of two significant shifts—from extended families living close together to smaller, more geographically-dispersed households, and the simple fact of longer lifespans—have created difficulties we’re struggling to address. We’re still learning what ‘normal’ aging looks like as average life expectancy approaches 80 years. We’re learning that in the absence of specific illnesses, medicine may not offer the most appropriate responses to its challenges; Gawande observes that doctors are trained to cure, and aging simply isn’t curable. However, even in mostly healthy people, aging does produce real physical and mental changes that alter how one functions in the world, and individuals and families need to learn to recognize and make provisions for them. There are many things to consider, and that may need to be revisited often:

  • What can they still manage independently?
  • Do they need In-home help? How much?
  • Would an assisted-living home meet their needs better?
  • Do they need regular, ongoing assistance with medicines or medical equipment?

“People with terminal illnesses, regardless of age, may need to confront some of the same questions as the elderly, and Being Mortal also talks about palliative care and hospice—options when treatment fails and cures don’t take. Personal stories illustrate the value of a structured communication tool in making a painfully difficult process somewhat easier to navigate, and maybe even a little less frightening.”

What’s fabulous about your Friday? What are you thankful for today?

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  1. I was so thrilled to see your father was able to come home for Thanksgiving. Re: the book you are most thankful for, I’ve had it on my “must read” list for some time, only because of my mother’s recent experience with death of her parents. The topic is one we shouldn’t avoid, yet embrace and prepare for what is to come.

  2. So how was his turkey dinner? 🙂

    Fabulous here: Reading, reading, and more reading. Thankful for…well, you guessed it…reading.