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Old 06-17-2019, 01:58 PM
 
1,946 posts, read 2,711,399 times
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I was in my car this morning, and I heard Terry Gross' "Fresh Air" on the radio. Her guest was Dr. Louise Aronson, a geriatrician, who just wrote a book entitled "Elderhood".

Healthcare for 65+ has been a project of mine for the last few yeasr -- long story so I'll spare you the details.

This is, by far, the best -- not one of the best -- but THE best interview re health care for 65+ that I've never heard. It is truly worth listening to (and it less than a hour long). It was so good that I came home and listened to it again on my computer.

I am not a friend of Ms. Gross or Dr. Aronson. I don't know them personally at all. And I'm not getting money (or anything) for mentioning the book.

FYI: Geriatrics is medical specialty of the medical profession just like Pediatrics, Cardiology, Family Practice, etc. Since it's a specialty, it is important. Unfortunately, there are very few geriatricians in The US. And The American Medical Association recently said that 65+ are dying unnecessarily ("the lack of geriatricians is resulting in unnecessary deaths" were the exact words) due to the great lack of board-certified geriatricians. For just one instance, about 20% of us, after age 65, do not tend to run fevers commensurate with/indicative of the seriousness of our illness. As we get older, more and more of us don't tend to run fevers at all. If you ask your PCP if he/she knows this, the odds are great that he/she will not know it. But it is VERY important to us if we're 65+.

So this interview/book is about how to help ourselves in the face of so few geriatricians.

I'm not sure this link will work. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...cians-can-help But if it doesn't, you can go to the Fresh Air web site, and the interview is right there.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:07 PM
 
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Thanks! I do listen to Fresh Air when it's a topic that interest me so I'll be sure to look out for this one.

Not surprised about the lack of geriatricians; since their patients are pretty much all covered by Medicare it's not as lucrative as other specialties.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:16 PM
 
1,946 posts, read 2,711,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
Thanks! I do listen to Fresh Air when it's a topic that interest me so I'll be sure to look out for this one.

Not surprised about the lack of geriatricians; since their patients are pretty much all covered by Medicare it's not as lucrative as other specialties.
Geriatrics doesn't pay good in the private sector either. (We oldster can't win for losing.) It pays better for Hospice but still not enough.

Nice to know that I'm not the only one who likes Fresh Air! I really enjoy Gross a lot. If she has someone I'm really interested in, I'll grab a cup of coffee, find a parking spot, and just sit and listen until it's over. LOL Which is what happened this morning. And then I came home and listened to it again. It was THAT good.

The doctor really is great. She sounds sane and much more interested in old people than she is in her fame and book. (I'm actually going to purchase her book.)
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:34 PM
 
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Terry Gross is an excellent interviewer and has an extremely wide range of interesting guests.

There was an interview with Danny Trejo that was a total hoot. Others are very serious and informative.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:21 PM
 
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I listened to the interview (I'm a devoted Fresh Air listener). I found the interview extremely depressing - not because of aging or death being depressing - but because it made me think:

1) Based on the very good discussion - particularly regarding meds - that I should find a geriatrician and I probably can't find one due to the shortage because I'm not "the oldest or frailest" that geriatricians want to focus on as the guest put it.

2) Even if I could find a geriatrician, I'll never find one that makes housecalls (as the guest described doing) to see patients in the context of their living situations and ...

3) My relatives are not doctors so I'll never get *useful* observations that the guest was able to do of her parents ("I see you're shrinking" and "you're doctors are missing something; Let me do a rectal"). Yes, I'll get plenty of other observations ("That shirt looks like crap on you." and "Why don't you try shaving?") but they won't be medically useful.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:16 PM
 
1,946 posts, read 2,711,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stereo View Post
I listened to the interview (I'm a devoted Fresh Air listener). I found the interview extremely depressing - not because of aging or death being depressing - but because it made me think:

1) Based on the very good discussion - particularly regarding meds - that I should find a geriatrician and I probably can't find one due to the shortage because I'm not "the oldest or frailest" that geriatricians want to focus on as the guest put it.

2) Even if I could find a geriatrician, I'll never find one that makes housecalls (as the guest described doing) to see patients in the context of their living situations and ...

3) My relatives are not doctors so I'll never get *useful* observations that the guest was able to do of her parents ("I see you're shrinking" and "you're doctors are missing something; Let me do a rectal"). Yes, I'll get plenty of other observations ("That shirt looks like crap on you." and "Why don't you try shaving?") but they won't be medically useful.
I am not at all trying to be mean to you when I say:

1) Life is difficult and hard most of the time. One of the main things wrong with us American is that we think there is something wrong with us if we're unhappy, not peaceful, depressed, anxious. One my favorite quotes (that often makes me chuckle) comes from a Buddhist Master who said: "Life is often difficult and painful. Once we accept that, we have half the battle licked." Another comes from own therapist (now long dead): "If we're not a little bit depressed and anxious in this world, there really is something wrong with us." :-)

2) What I got out of the interview were the ways that we can help ourselves, even if we don't have the benefit of a geriatrician. I was looking for information -- which I got -- and not an 'uplift' or a solution (at the present time there is no solution).

3) We're all going to die someday -- whether or not we see a geriatrician -- we can have the best medical care in the world, and we're still going to die, in old age or much sooner. If you want a real downer, read this: Every single morning millions of Americans get up and go to work and/or take the children to school/drive home from work. And in every state in The US, on every single day of the year (mostly Monday through Friday), an average of 3.5 people, who have absolutely no idea what is in store for them, are involved in a fatal car crash and die. Now, THAT is depressing.

My point is: if I lived my life looking for only what makes me happy or what is beneficial only to me or discarding everything that doesn't fit exactly what I want/need, I'd be wasting A LOT of life.

I do understand what you're saying -- what I'm saying is that you're looking at the glass half empty.

PS: No matter what -- no matter what -- health care in The US is very depressing. For us old and elderly it is VERY VERY depressing. So you've got that correct for sure.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:31 PM
 
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Fran, I understand what you're saying. I'm not trying to sound that pathetic. Indeed, I think my life is pretty good most of the time. Maybe that's why I found the interview more of a downer than you found it?

I'll also point out that Terry Gross has interviewed other people on the subject of aging that I thought had more useful messages. One that comes to mind immediately is the interview with Dr Atul Gawande who wrote the book "Being Mortal". I thought the book was a bit too narrowly focused but helpful enough that I found myself recommending it to several friends. In contrast, I haven't found myself recommending Dr Aronson's interview to anyone. Admittedly, I haven't read her book yet but I'm not sure I'm inspired to read it after that interview.

Have you or are you going to read Aronson's (or Gawande's) book?
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:08 PM
 
1,946 posts, read 2,711,399 times
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Stereo -- I'm not doing this. It is going nowhere. You very obviously don't understand what I have been saying. I wish you well.
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