Aging Better Together Conference: Registration Open
From: Fred-List manager (fholsoncohousing.org)
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2016 04:34:35 -0800 (PST)
Arthur Rashap <arthur.rashap [at] gmail.com>
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--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------
I am writing about the Aging Better Together Conference. I have 15 years of
experience working with Dr. William Thomas (Eden Alternative, Greenhouses,
now on a national tour seeking to change the way we view and treat elders);
with a top Area Agency on the Aging (JABA in Charlottesville) and several
years working on and consulting regarding the planning of intergenerational
communities. I had offered to share my knowledge and views at the May
Conference and this was rejected.

I am contributing here a portion of a talk I have given regarding the way
we can view integrating those deemed to be "old" or "older" into existing
or planned communities. I would be happy to send the full talk and/or other
materials to those who might be interested. I would like to have been
included in the Conference.

*One Avenue to Consider for Long-Term Care: Aging in Community: The
Trillion Dollar Answer*

Aging is a team sport – if you try to do it all by yourself you will have a
very hard time.  Aging requires us to cooperate and collaborate with other
people.  But this is not what society teaches us about aging.  We are
heading for a tremendous crack-up between the amount of money needed to
support an aging population and the amount that is made available.  This is
a mathematical statement not a political statement. We need new ways of
thinking about aging.

The popular view of aging is linear and one dimensional. It’s all down hill
from your 28th birthday!  At the end of that story is failure, burden,
disease, disability, dementia, death.  Individuals feel they need to fight
against these “d” words.

We think that dependence means that reliance on others is a bad thing.
However, it’s when you can no longer depend on anybody that you die.

When we dread something, we create a beautiful picture of the exact
opposite.

This is what is going on in the field of aging.  There are two options in
aging. One, you can be independent so that people can use the word “still”
to describe you. “She ‘still’ scrubs the floors on her knees. He ‘still’
works 60 hours a week. After six face-lifts she ‘still’ looks 20 years
younger. Isn’t that wonderful!” Or, you can be dependent. You can recognize
that as you age changes occur. You gear your life to accommodate these
changes and exchange time, energy, favors, and love with others to mutual
benefit.

“Aging in place” is a mirage, a fantasy created by our terrible fear of
institutions.  Of course statistics show that people want to age in place.
Which would you prefer?  Living at home or being thrown down a flight of
stairs?

We have a mythic understanding of independence. What we really mean by
independence is having a say in the nature and structure of how we depend
on people.

We have two ways of looking at aging:  healthy and active or disabled and
senile.  When a society gets locked into this contrast, the result is fear
and alienation. Forms of assistance are stated in how many dollars for
professional services.  Well being is measured by access to professional
services.

There are alternatives. Making these happen is and will be an exercise in
creating an acceptable form of dependence.

Arthur Rashap

Arthur W. Rashap
Home phone: (434) 995-5020
Cell # (434) 218-8927
arthur.rashap [at] gmail.com
1719B Galloway Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22901

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