What Old Age is Really Like?

I am Ravi S. Kahn, Ph.D. In December 2016, I will be 82. As I move on with my life, I am writing about the experiences of my octogenarian life. I am going to tell my story loud and clear.

As of today, I feel that nobody cares—especially modern doctors and very busy family members. They put up a show with their very smiley faces, though. I am also telling you that they may be doing their best. It is also possible that doing their best for the elderly may not be good enough since they define it in consideration of their own purposes and terms. It is no longer like the old days; nor is it like some parts of the world, where the elderly are very well taken care off. It is only in America—rich and strong America—where the elderly are neglected. They aren’t worth attending to.

My time passed long ago. But I have stories to tell of new times, in case you haven’t figured that out yet. You will read my stories. To some of you, they will appear to be made-up stories. But, to me, they are real stories. That’s all that matters.

We all have to pass through “toll booths” on our life journeys. Then, when we become old, some of us feel like we are one of those toll booths—like an old man sitting in a toll booth. Then, when our journeys are about to end, we patiently wait for our next assignments. Doctors just service the toll booths to keep them functioning, and family and friends visit the toll booth to pay their tolls whenever it suits them, for whatever reason. Paying the toll makes them happy. To them, that’s all that matters, and then they have to move on.

To me, in old age, our dignity and respect matter.

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