What if most of what we know about the process of growing older is wrong? What if we could free ourselves from our presumptions about aging’s inevitable decline, and by doing so come to a new, richer understanding of what our late-life years could and should be? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
Visionaries are those who see how tied they are to all we “know” – all the conventional assumptions we mostly accept without examination - and choose to cut that cord, to untether themselves from those limitations, and imagine a better world.
From among them spring the innovators – the mavericks who kick-start revolutions and movements that change the world. Our aging society...
I hear it every day from the leaders in the not-for-profit hospice world: We’re losing ground. Caught between a rock – reduced federal dollars – and a hard place – the crushing proliferation of regulations – hospice leaders are adopting a bunker mentality, hunkering down to provide the basics to those in their care, while forced to let go of many of the extra services that bring comfort and meaning to their final days. It looks grim – yet I can’t help but feel like we’ve been here before.
There weren’t a lot of resources for us at the start of the hospice movement – and no Federal money for hospice – but there was enthusiasm, and partnership within the communities we served. We cobbled together alliances, trained volunteers, worked with what we had, and made life better for dying people and their loved ones.
When I look at where we are today, what occurs to me is this: What might we be able to accomplish, if we more...