I am a part of the human services “industry” and, as such, you can count me among those who have this crazy belief that we could live more fulfilling lives (as in “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”) if we had a more rational approach to aging.
But this is also very personal with me. First, I am of an age where one thinks about one’s professional career and the rest of life. Second, my wife and I are, and have been, helping older relatives navigate the complex options, bureaucracies and complications that are now a part of their lives. So let me lay out an argument, from both a personal and a professional perspective, of the need to revolutionize our approach to providing services for the aging.
Let’s face it…the U.S. does not really have a policy for how we will progress through the stages of aging in ways that are humane, cost-effective and fulfilling. I fully realize that we do have the Older American’s Act, Social Security and Medicare, each of which play a very significant role in improving the lives of older adults. However, if you try to replace the word “policy” with the words “plan” or “strategy” or “rational approach” and it becomes clear we, as a nation, just let it happen instead of making it happen.
Read Irv’s full op-ed on The Huffington Post.