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A Repurposed Life

Published December 9, 2009 2:56 PM by Jason Marketti
For the elderly in nursing facilities who have commanded armies, started businesses, traveled the world, and ran households successfully, what more can we offer them? Some have struggled through difficult times and pushed past roadblocks unimagined by me in my short life. 

With their rich histories, they have a skill set that they might share with us if only we ask. We can extend a helping hand to get them up and moving while offering hope and perhaps a better, different purpose for them. 

Some may argue, and even the patients themselves might agree, that they have lived a full, productive life and should enjoy the rest of their days in serenity. If only they had a different choice they may see things differently. Some colleges offer free or low-cost courses for the elderly who want to finish their degree or begin a new one.  Some nursing facilities have encouraged painters, poets, writers, and other artists who had never before picked up a brush to paint or put pen to paper. 

By offering a different perspective on life and giving a new vitality in quality of living some residents will rise up and realize that their purpose has only just begun. 


Ah, but who are we to decide what is "serenity" for someone else? If that is an elder's choice, fine. However, if an elder wants to do something "more" that may be the serenity they need.

Just because so many US nursing homes have chandeliers and lovely lobby furnishings, doesn't mean that we are not stockpiling our elders. Having worked with older adults for my nearly 20 years of practice, I find anecdotally that most would prefer to feel continued growth and purpose to their life.

Great insight Jason.

Dean Metz December 9, 2009 1:17 PM

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About this Blog

    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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