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Vital/Vulnerable Aging- The Balance

by Louis on December 14, 2010

I am deeply engaged in Aging in Place, almost boringly focused on preparing homes in advance of health crises that otherwise force us out of our homes.I tend to give too little attention to the multifaceted and energetic vital aging movement. This includes ‘civic engagement‘ often exemplified by Civic Ventures in all its forms – local, national and international and growingly clear health benefits, the travel  and recreation industries and more. Though I am a champion of the grass roots and intentionality of the village movement I am also a bit critical that it focuses on here and now pleasure with too little attention to the push comes to shove unpleasantness that happens to too many of us.

I recently had a pleasant contextual awakening on vital aging I want to share. It seems simple but important things are often simple when presented well. In this case the presenter was Jay Kenney. Jay is a really good guy I have known for many years who is chief of Montgomery County Maryland (where I live) Aging and Disability Services. Jay spoke at a local Aging in Place forum. He spoke about the need to balance funding and prioritizing the needs and desires of vital aging with the needs of vulnerable aging.

This chart covers the gamut. It shows the sides I have been too quick not to balance with the gray areas in the middle. Not just to the point, but eye opening  for me. The simple clarity makes me embarrassed for some of my thoughts but happy to now have a better view.

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