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Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre

Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre
Being Mortal
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Being Mortal
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It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death —losing their hearing, their memory, their best friends, their way of life. As Felix put it to me, “Old age is a continuous series of losses.” Philip Roth put it more bitterly in his novel Everyman: “Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre.” With luck and fastidiousness—eating well, exercising, keeping our blood pressure under control, getting medical help when we need it—people can often live and manage a very long time. But eventually the losses accumulate to the point where life’s daily requirements become more than we can physically or mentally manage on our own. As fewer of us are struck dead out of the blue, most of us will spend significant periods of our lives too reduced and debilitated to live independently. We do not like to think about this eventuality. As a result, most of us are unprepared for it.

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