My definition of aging with dignity is exhibiting admirable attitudes and characteristics as we age. Aging with Dignity, a national non-profit organization based in Tallahassee, Florida, states their primary focus is to improve end-of-life care by encouraging people to make medical decisions in advance of a serious illness. They should consider changing the name of their organization to Dying with Dignity.
Aging with Dignity was started by Jim Towey. Jim worked for Mother Theresa for twelve years. Mother Theresa is the epitome of dignity. She exhibited the characteristics I listed below. (But you guys in the Vatican…just get over it and canonize her.)
The Center for Aging with Dignity is “devoted to keeping people “SAFE After 60” by advocating for, advancing and developing best-practice programs for the prevention of elder abuse, exploitation and mistreatment. Recognizing that safety risks increase with age, we focus on enhancing the ability of professionals to empower older people, families and organizations to maximize heath, wellness and independence.”
These are exceptional programs but clearly my version of aging with dignity isn’t in sync with theirs. (Except for the safety risk thing.)
Some of the characteristics and attitudes I admire in people as they age include the following:
- Rarely whines. (Think Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption.)
- Exhibits self-control ninety-nine percent of the time.
- Rarely worries.
- Doesn’t yell “No, no, no I doan like it” after the two year-old throws her plate on the floor and yells “No, no, no I doan like it.”
- Doesn’t worry about math homework ten years into the future—will it be new, new math or Apple Mac math?
- Exhibits self-confidence. (Think Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption.)
- Doesn’t make fun of women who’ve had work done while secretly wishing you looked ten years younger without having work done.
- Shares their wisdom with younger generations. (Think Morgan Freeman…)
- Speaks in a soothing, calm voice. (Think Morgan Freeman…)
- Doesn’t screech “No, no, no I doan like it” when the two year-old uproots your orchid and paints the carpet with a mixture of charcoal, bark chips and dirt.
Two conclusions can be drawn from this list—the first is it's difficult to age with dignity when you’re raising a toddler. The second is obvious. I want to be Morgan Freeman.
Causes Jules Jacob Supports
CASA of Southwest Missouri, Master Gardeners of the Ozarks, University of Missouri Master Gardeners, Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates Association...