Ode to Aging Well and Equitably
At the final week of our 2021 Forum, Amplifying All Voices in Aging, we were joined by founder of RENT Poet/Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace. Complementing our focus on technical aspects of the work we do to transform care for older adults, Mr. Sonia-Wallace authored a poem in real time to bring us back to the heart of the matter: What do we mean by “aging well” and “aging equitably”? Read the poem and learn more about RENT Poet.Date Updated: 10/29/2021
Ode to Aging Well and Equitably
For the TSF Forum
A world flooded with virtual opportunities reaches for community.
Pursues purpose. Grows toward gratitude;
The social determinants of health. Determinant, from the Latin:
De – completely, terminare – terminate.
Social determinants. The end of the line.
Beginning of the panel.
Context: By 2024 elders will outnumber youth.
Content: Telehealth. Reporting. Equity.
Bowtie. Houseplant. In the Zoom background,
a child’s handwritten sign: I love you. Let’s begin there.
With new newsroom appetites for in-home health coverage,
hidden inequalities cry for storytellers at the intersection.
He takes a leave from academia for practice, says aging well in place research gets stuck in place, chronically, that literature can leave half the world out, data’s redlining legacies in the faculty breakroom show our definitions, broken.
How big does a disparity have to be to warrant action?
What outcome do we follow?
What North Star maps our aspirations?
A universal right to access cracks on the digital divide, economies manifest in broadband, in who suffers, who gets to engage
in the new civil society we’re building, temporary and unadvertised. 6 million people unconnected or under-connected, reflected in who’s missing from the narrative as dollars flow around them.
So we open the lens beyond nursing homes, onto coverage and care, COVID and Say Their Names. 2020 showed us how fast we can move, when we want to. We are building a will.
From the Gothic waljan: to choose.
From the Old English wel: riches.
We choose hope. Our currency is information. Is access.
Let’s take some questions from the chat.
Let’s chat. Share questions. Take care.
In the video, the grandchild says, “I care because I love.”
Remember, this is our beginning.
The grandparent, playing dominoes, says, “I’m never tired
when I’m winning.”
High quality, cost effective health care delivery is all about targeting – the right care, by the right provider, at the right time, in the right place, and for the right cost. It sounds straightforward, almost easy. The challenge to getting it right is understanding the range of variables in a person’s life that drive health care use and costs. Find out more in this week’s Perspectives.
Chances are you know and love an older person with needs. Maybe it’s that neighbor of yours whose trash cans you help bring in once a week. Perhaps it’s your grandparent or even a parent who needs help understanding the bills or getting the groceries up the stairs. The reality is the population of older adults in this country is growing rapidly due in large part to the aging of baby boomers – a demographic shift that affects us all. Advancements in health care and technology have also spurred this phenomenon, yet we know that a longer life also brings a greater likelihood of facing multiple chronic health conditions and possibly needing help with everyday activities.
In this Perspectives, Dr. Chernof reflects on the Foundation’s presence at the 2012 American Society on Aging Conference and how improving long-term care in California will require the long-term strategies and dedication of a social movement.