Follow by Email

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Developmental Aging

I'm personally intrigued by the different ways people seem to go about aging. In today's society aging is not one thing, it is many things and it is different for each person. And I would not want it any other way. The second half of life is when we are the most different.

Having completed our child rearing duties and perhaps our career chasing too, we are free to express ourselves in new ways with the diverse set of beliefs and experiences we have accumulated. Each person unique as individual snowflakes! Consequently, any single theory of aging is probably going to be flawed.

So how can we think and talk about this stage of life? Is it just the physical and mental diminishment process? Is it the unlimited possibilities that the "longevity revolution" might offer? Is it someplace in between? I suspect that the real answere lies in each of us. And frankly that is what excites me so much about this time in human history; there does not seem to be a blueprint for aging! We are all going to make it up as we go...together, I hope! Consequently, I have come to really appreciate the concept of developmental aging.

The idea is that Developmental aging allows us to see the aging process as part of the ongoing wonder of human development. It connects all parts of our life span from birth to death as a continuum with different developmental tasks in each part. As a result perhaps we are creating the possibilities for the greatest cohort of elders ever.

"Developmental aging seeks the unification of aging and longevity, understanding that each needs the other, each informs the other. Our longevity grants us a magnificent opportunity to age. Aging brings depth, richness, and meaning to our longevity. Together, they are humanity's most treasured possessions." Bill Thomas, M.D.

No comments: