What’s in it for me? Join a geriatrician in her investigation of aging in America.
On a winter’s day in 2012, a group of doctors strolled the streets of Baltimore, asking pedestrians a straightforward question – “What is a geriatrician?” Most people, regardless of age or education level, had no clue. One respondent took a particularly entertaining shot in the dark, offering “a person who scoops ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s.” America’s ignorance of geriatrics – the branch of medicine dedicated to the medical treatment of elderly people – is indicative of a larger issue. We know little about the care of older people because old age, in the States at least, is regarded with distaste, if not outright disgust. Why, in a progressive political landscape that denounces racism, sexism and most other “-isms,” is ageism still ubiquitous? Why does the medical establishment so often deprioritize the elderly? Why are cures given priority over preventative care? Elderhood offers answers, if not solutions, to these pressing questions. We’re all headed for old age. And, barring accidents and diseases, we’ll all get there. In other words, the wisdom and lessons contained in these readims apply to all of us, no matter where we are in life’s journey. These readims also explain what happens to happiness after age 60; why you shouldn’t treat a side effect with a drug; and the recipe for a happy life.