Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associat Editor.
Our society's preoccupation with the downside of senescence has resulted
in neglect of the upside. The upside deserves better of us. It turns out that
there are a good many positives that go along with advanced years.
The most obvious one is the personal freedom that attaches only to the
later decades of life, because never before has such freedom been as complete.
Even the halcyon period of childhood, the closest equivalent, was encumbered
with the necessary discipline of schooling. And all the adult decades that
followed each carried its own distinct burden of responsibility, obligation,
Wagner A. On Being Eighty. JAMA. 1998;279(22):1766. doi:10.1001/jama.279.22.1766