May 30, 2019
In this week's podcast we talk with Louise Aronson MD, MFA, Professor of Geriatrics at UCSF about her new book Elderhood, available for purchase now for delivery on the release date June 11th. We are one of the first to interview Louise, as she has interviews scheduled with other lesser media outlets to follow (CBS This Morning and Fresh Air with Terry...somebody). This book is tremendously rich, covering a history of aging/geriatrics, Louise's own journey in medicine and as a geriatrician facing burnout, aging and death of family members, filled with stories of patients, etc. We focus therefore on the main things we think our listeners and readers will be interested in. First - why the word "Elder" and "Elderhood" when JAGS/AGS and others recently decided that the preferred terminology was "older adult"? Second - Robert Butler coined the term ageism in 1969 - where do we see ageism in contemporary writing/thinking? We focus on Louise's delectable takedown of Ezekiel Emanuel's Atlantic Article "Why I hope to Die at 75" Third- Louise's throws down the guantlet to the field of geriatrics. She argues that we have held too narrow a view of ourselves as clinicians for the oldest old and frailest frail. Instead, we should expand our vision of the field to include all older adults - including healthy 60/70 year olds & healthy aging - and become the default clinicians for all people entering life's last stage. Elderhood is a terrific read, and you are listeners/readers will all be inspired by the ideas, moved by the stories (you will identify with them), and challenged to re-imagine our clinical practice. (apologies - I had a cold so sort of struggle through the singing, far different from my usual perfect rendition!) Enjoy!