[ExI] NYT: Happiness May Come With Age, Study Says

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 2 21:15:12 UTC 2010

----- Original Message ----
> From: spike <spike66 at att.net>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Sent: Wed, June 2, 2010 7:44:51 AM
> Subject: Re: [ExI] NYT: Happiness May Come With Age, Study Says

> The answer is obvious. There is less pressure 
> when you are older.
> The things you got stressed about when you were 
> young just 
> seem triviial and don't bother you anymore... 
> BillK

> Ja!  I hope this thread generates many comments.  


As I have gotten older myself, I completely get that 
> now.  I still like to
go and do, but I get the enjoyment of just 
> watching and being.

While both Spike and Bill make good points, I doubt the authors of the NYT article, or the researchers they mentioned, interviewed any elderly in nursing homes. I however had lived in a nursing home in Los Angeles for the greater part of two months in the autumn of 2004, convalescing from a motorcyle accident that broke both my ankles and rendered me wheelchair-bound for that time. I can say quite assuredly that whatever natural happiness age brings the elderly, nursing homes rob them of it. My first night there I could not sleep on account of the many moans, groans, and occasionally the plea to God for death. Octagenarians were calling for their mommies and daddies. Then there were the loud screeching protests whenever a nurse or orderly had to change someone's diaper, or give someone a shot. I heard many disturbing things there and the only laughter I heard would be when my friends came to visit me and it would come from us.

The food was pretty bad consisting almost entirely of carbs with only the occasional protein except for the milk which I was thankful was plentiful. The medical care was likewise horrible. The supervising doctors were never on the premises and they didn't allow antiseptics (like alcohol) on open wounds only antibiotic ointments. When my road rash got infected with MRSA, I had to convince the nurse to use the vodka that my friends had smuggled in to me to dress the wound, and it took almost a week for the doctor to prescribe IV vancomycin to clear the infection.

My observation was that the happiest people there were the ones that were sufficiently able-bodied to leave during the day and return at night. The whole mood of the place could be summarized by the satff's choice of Halloween decorations: a life-size paper cutout of the grim reaper looming in the hallway as you wheeled your chair past. This experience sure put the anti-aging aspects of H+ into perspective for me. And I shant be returning to a place like that, not when the world offers so many fine ways to die. 

Stuart LaForge 

"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight." - Joseph Joubert 


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list